Pence Delays Upcoming Trip to Israel, Egypt Until 2018

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Pence, who was originally scheduled to arrive in Israel on Sunday and then rescheduled to leave on Tuesday for a brief visit in Egypt before arriving in Israel for a multi-day trip, will not be making the trip to the Middle East until he sees "the tax cut through to the finish line".

"The largest tax cut in American history is a landmark accomplishment for President Trump and a relief to millions of hardworking Americans", said Pence's press secretary Alyssa Farah. Pence is postponing his trip to Egypt and Israel until the middle of January, citing an upcoming vote in the Senate to overhaul the nation's tax system.

The delay comes at a time the U.S. is facing widespread backlash over Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and begin the process of moving the country's embassy from Tel Aviv to the city.

The move outraged Palestinians, and Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, canceled a meeting scheduled with Pence in protest.

But White House officials said any delay in the tax vote might have prevented the vice president from departing Washington on time and complicated a tightly-orchestrated set of meetings in Egypt and Israel. In October, Pence's office said the vice president was schedule to make a stop in the occupied West Bank during the visit. The Republicans' already thin margin in the Senate became even more precarious when McCain, who is battling brain cancer, was hospitalized for side effects of his treatment.

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But after Trump's decision earlier this month on Jerusalem, the Palestinian Authority declined the meeting.

Pence had also planned to address the Knesset, visit the Western Wall and meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The fallout continued Monday as the United States was forced to veto a draft UN resolution rejecting Trump's Jerusalem move, after all 14 other Security Council members - including allies like Britain - voted for the measure. His office announced the delay on Monday.

The new date for the trip is January 14th, according to CNN. In doing so, senior officials said the protests were not a factor and that the vice president needed to stay in Washington until the tax vote was completed.

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