House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is too busy to travel to the Vatican with Vice President Biden, he said Thursday.
Biden will lead the U.S. delegation to Rome for Pope Francis’s installation, scheduled for Tuesday. On Wednesday he invited Boehner, a fellow Catholic, to join the delegation.
“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 responded. "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."
He added, "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.”