House lawmakers flying commercial to papal inauguration

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The delegation includes Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), Sean Duffy (R-Wis.), Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.), Rubén Hinojosa (D-Texas), Jim Langevin (R-R.I.), Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.) and Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.). Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) is leading the delegation.

The delegation is flying commercial in order to follow Boehner's directive that House lawmakers not use military aircraft for transportation while sequestration spending cuts are in effect.

The delegation is separate from one Vice President Biden is leading. Biden's delegation includes House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez (R). Boehner on Thursday declined an invitation to join that delegation.

"I’m pleased Congressman Smith and this bipartisan group of members will join the Vice President in communicating the prayers and warm regards of the American people to Pope Francis as he begins his papacy," Boehner said.

The papal inauguration ceremony is on March 19.

The chaplain for the House of Representatives, Father Patrick Conroy, will also join the congressional delegation.