House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) declined an invitation by the White House to join a delegation lead by Vice President Biden that will attend the installation of Pope Francis.
“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 said in a statement on Thursday.
The White House announced the delegation on Wednesday, shortly after the Vatican named Francis the new pope, succeeding Pope Benedict XVI.
Boehner cited debating the federal budget and a visit by the prime minister of Ireland as reasons he would have to stay in the United States.
Source: The Hill