Shutdown Forces Ben Carson To Cancel Prayer Breakfast Speech

PALM BEACH, FL - MARCH 11:  Former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson gives his endorsement to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a press conference at the Mar-A-Lago Club on March 11, 2016 in Palm Beach, Florida. Presidential candidates continue to campaign before Florida's March 15th primary day.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
HUD Secretary Ben Carson (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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January 9, 2019 11:31 a.m.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The federal government shutdown has scrambled plans for a Missouri prayer breakfast after Ben Carson had to cancel as the keynote speaker.

A spokesman for the U.S. Department Housing and Urban Development said Wednesday that the agency could not pay for the secretary’s travel to Missouri because of the shutdown.

Carson had been scheduled as the main speaker Thursday for the Missouri governor’s annual prayer breakfast.

A spokeswoman for Gov. Mike Parson said Carson’s spot would be filled by St. Louis Sheriff Vernon Betts.

The breakfast hosted during the first week of the legislative session typically draws hundreds of people. Ticket proceeds benefit a leadership forum on faith and values for college students.

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