Pence Postpones Mideast Trip Until January for Senate Tax Vote

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a national security strategy speech in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 18.

Photographer: Zach Gibson/Bloomberg

Vice President Mike Pence will postpone his planned trip to the Middle East until January as a critical Senate vote looms on a Republican tax overhaul.

The vice president had planned to meet with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and deliver a speech to the Israeli Knesset. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas canceled a scheduled meeting with Pence after President Donald Trump announced he would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital over Arab objections.

The vice president can cast a tie-breaking vote in the Senate, where Republicans hold 52 of 100 seats. Arizona Republican John McCain, who has brain cancer, went home over the weekend and is expected to miss the vote.

“The largest tax cut in American history is a landmark accomplishment for President Trump and a relief to millions of hardworking Americans,” Pence spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said in a statement. “The Vice President is committed to seeing the tax cut through to the finish line. The Vice President looks forward to traveling to Egypt and Israel in January.”

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