WASHINGTON: President Joe Biden declared there’s “work to do” on the global stage as he headed to Japan on Wednesday to consult with allies on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s assertiveness in the Pacific at the same time that a debt limit standoff looms at home.
With high-stakes talks to head off a federal default are underway in Washington, Biden pledged to remain in “constant contact” with negotiators in the Capitol while he conducts international diplomacy.
The president departed Washington aboard Air Force One a day after scrapping plans for a historic stop in Papua New Guinea and a key visit to Australia amid the showdown with House Republicans over raising the federal debt limit.
“I’ve cut my trip short in order to be here for the final negotiations and sign the deal with the majority leader,” Biden said in remarks before departing the White House. “I’ve made clear America is not a deadbeat nation, we pay our bills.”
While in Hiroshima, Biden also plans to sit down with the so-called Quad leaders of Japan, Australia and India, a partnership meant to serve as a counterweight to China in the Indo-Pacific, a region that he bills as a top priority in US national security strategy. That meeting had originally been scheduled to occur next week on what would have been his inaugural visit to Canberra and Sydney as president.