Citing Budget Debate, Boehner Declines White House Invite to Attend Papal Investiture

National Journal

House Speaker John Boehner has decided not to accept an invitation from President Obama to join Vice President Joe Biden as part of a delegation to the papal investiture, citing Congress’s budget negotiations as a reason.

“I am grateful for the invitation to attend the papal investiture in Rome with Vice President Biden, and would like to be able to join the trip,” Boehner, a Catholic, told the president, according to the speaker’s office.

But Boehner added, “Unfortunately, my duties in the House next week--including hosting President Obama and the prime minister of Ireland at the Capitol on Tuesday, and the debate on the budget--make that impossible.”

“I wish the vice president all the best in his journey, and hope he communicates the prayers and warm regards of every American, especially Catholics, to the first pope from the Americas,” Boehner said.

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