House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) declined an invitation to travel to Israel with President Obama and attend a Jerusalem state dinner in Obama’s honor because of the busy congressional schedule, Politico reported Wednesday. Cantor was one of a number of lawmakers on both side of the aisle whom the administration invited to join Obama on his first visit to Israel as president.
“We invited a group of bipartisan members, representing leadership, relevant committees and prominent Jewish members,” an administration source said. “Given the congressional schedule, most could not make it.”
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, and Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), the top Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, both flew on Air Force One with Obama from Andrews Air Force Base to Tel Aviv.
Update: Cantor’s Communications Director Rory Cooper tweets that Cantor was not invited to Israel by Obama but was invited to a state dinner by the Israeli government.
White House did NOT invite the Leader to join Israel trip. Which is fine, given Hill calendar. Israeli govt did invite him to State Dinner.
— Rory Cooper (@rorycooper) March 20, 2013