Vice President Mike Pence has cut short the final leg of his Asia trip to return back to Washington, where the Trump administration faces a critical week on tax reform and a funding plan to keep the government running, Reuters reported overnight. Pence, who has been traveling in Asia to reassure allies and partners about President Donald Trump's commitment to the region, had originally planned to spend two nights in Honoluluat the end of a trip that took him to South Korea, Japan, Indonesia and Australia.
An aide to the vice president said Pence is cutting his trip short because of a series of issues in Washington this week. He pointed to topics including healthcare, tax reform and government funding. The vice president will no longer visit the USS Arizona memorial because of the shortened trip and will instead leave Hawaii on Monday.
According to Reuters, Pence will now spend one night in Hawaii and is slated to be back in Washington on Tuesday morning, an aide told reporters before Air Force Two landed at Pago Pago in American Samoa for refueling. While he spoke with business leaders in each country, Pence's trip was overshadowed by rising tensions in North Korea, where it is feared another nuclear test could be conducted soon in defiance of United Nations sanctions.
Trump has a busy week ahead. Funding appropriated by Congress to run the government runs out on Friday, so he and lawmakers must agree on new legislation or the government will shut down on Saturday. Saturday is also Trump's 100th day in office, a benchmark used by pundits to assess the initial accomplishments and shortfalls of his young presidency.
Trump plans to outline principles for tax reform onWednesday, a top brief for Pence.