January 18, 2019 / 4:35 PM / 6 months ago

White House restricts U.S. lawmakers' travel amid shutdown

A U.S. Air Force bus meant to transport U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other members of a congressional delegation to a flight to Belgium and Afghanistan sits guarded by U.S. Capitol Police in front of the Capitol after President Donald Trump cancelled the Air Force flight as the president's dispute with congressional Democrats over the partial government shutdown continues in Washington, U.S., January 17, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration has barred U.S. congressional travel on government-owned or operated aircraft during the partial government shutdown, unless they have White House approval, according to a memo issued on Friday by the White House Office of Management and Budget.

The move marks an escalation by the White House, which on Thursday blocked U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from using a military plane for a congressional trip to Afghanistan. Pelosi’s office accused the administration of leaking commercial travel plans on Friday, which a White House official has denied.

Reporting by Makini Brice; Editing by Susan Heavey

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