With a government shutdown just hours away on Monday, White House spokesman Jay Carney said President Obama still plans to go to Asia this weekend.

“We don’t have any changes to announce. We plan to make this trip,” Carney told reporters at the White House Monday. “The president, as president, looks forward to and believes it is important to travel to Asia in order to promote our economic interests in Asia and our strategic interests in Asia.”

One of the Republicans’ criticisms of Obama is his absolute refusal to negotiate on a stopgap funding bill and the debt limit, even when he’s in Washington.

According to Carney, “There are American jobs that can be created through our engagement with Asia, this fastest-growing region of the world and an enormously important region when it comes to our trading relationships and partnerships. So we have this trip scheduled and we intend to take it. We’ll see, obviously, what happens as the week unfolds.”

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