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Biden cancels Panama trip, will make stop in Charleston - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Biden cancels Panama trip, will make stop in Charleston

By JOSH LEDERMAN
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House says Vice President Joe Biden is canceling a trip to Panama next week, but he's still scheduled to visit the Lowcountry.

Biden will still travel to Charleston and Savannah on Monday, and to Mexico at the end of the week to meet with President Enrique Pena Nieto.  Biden is expected to deliver remarks at the Port of Charleston sometime around mid-morning, according to port officials.

In between, Biden will return to Washington, where the vice president's office says he'll focus on the situation in Syria.

Biden said Monday he might have to postpone the Panama trip as the Senate was preparing to vote Wednesday on authorizing a military strike in Syria. But President Barack Obama has asked Congress to hold off on votes as talks progress on a possible diplomatic solution.

In Panama, Biden had planned to meet with President Ricardo Martinelli and tour the Panama Canal's expansion project.

Like other East Coast ports, Savannah and Charleston are scrambling for funding to deepen their harbors in order to accommodate the supersized ships.

President Barack Obama included both cities last year on a list of port projects deemed worthy of expediting. But Washington has had trouble finding money for such projects amid budget battles focused on cutbacks and deficit reduction.

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