Although they don’t see eye to eye on many things, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has selected Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3rd District, to join a bipartisan group of House members who will represent the United States at the investiture of new Pope Francis I in Rome next week.
The delegation will be led by Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., and is composed of six Democrats and three Republicans, all Roman Catholics.
DeLauro said she is “honored and privileged to be attending the inauguration of Pope Francis I and look forward to bringing the prayers and warm wishes of American Catholics, especially those from Connecticut, to this historic occasion.”
Boehner, who is also a Roman Catholic, said he is staying behind because of work obligations, including negotiations with President Obama on the budget.
Boeher also said members of the delegation will fly commercial planes instead of military transport to save money in light of the sequester, or budget cuts, imposed on federal spending earlier this month.
“The installation of Pope Francis, the first Holy Father ever to hail from the Americas, is a milestone in world history and an event of monumental significance to the millions of Americans who share in the Catholic faith,” Boehner said. “I’m pleased Congressman Smith and this bipartisan group of members will join (Vice President Joseph Biden) in communicating the prayers and warm regards of the American people to Pope Francis as he begins his papacy.”
Separately, Biden invited Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., a good friend of DeLauro, to join the U.S. delegation, which also includes New Mexico Gov. Susan Martinez, and George DeGioia, president of Georgetown University.