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Gulf oil disaster detains U.S. president

By Dionesis Tamondong HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, June 6, 2010) – President Obama has again canceled his trip to Guam, Indonesia and Australia, which was scheduled for this month.

The White House announced the trip cancellation yesterday but didn't say when the trip would be rescheduled.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Obama decided he would be staying home "to deal with important issues, one of which is the oil spill."

The president spoke with the leaders of Australia and Indonesia and "expressed his deep regret that he has to postpone his trip," Gibbs said. "The president looked forward to rescheduling so that he can visit both countries soon."

Obama was scheduled to make his first visit to Guam in March, but a crucial vote on health reform forced the postponement of that trip to June.

But the U.S. government continues to grapple with the worst oil spill in the nation's history. The April 20 oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico has turned into an environmental disaster.

White House officials advised the governor's office of the canceled visit, said Shawn Gumataotao, deputy chief of staff for Gov. Felix Camacho.

Delegate Madeleine Bordallo said she was disappointed with the postponement of the presidential trip but understood why Obama decided to do so.

"I am disappointed to learn that President Barack Obama has once again postponed his trip to Guam, Indonesia, and Australia. However, I appreciate the President's continuing commitment to ensure that all federal resources are brought forward to assist in capping and containing the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico," she said.

"This national tragedy requires his full attention to find solutions to the problems in the Gulf," Bordallo said. "I look forward to working with President Obama to find a time in the future when he can visit Guam."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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