Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) opted to appear at a star-studded event honoring Billy Joel rather than meet with President Obama on Wednesday night to discuss his plans for executive action on immigration.
The House minority leader was eyed among the crowd gathered at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington to celebrate the “Piano Man” singer receiving the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting announced last week that Pelosi would be among the presenters, and her office had made it clear a prior commitment would keep her from the White House.
Obama will dine with 18 members of Congress on Wednesday night to discuss details of his actions, according to White House press secretary Josh Earnest. An aide had earlier announced Pelosi wouldn’t be at the dinner, but said she had been briefed on Obama’s plan by Cecilia Muñoz, the director of the Domestic Policy Council at the White House.
"Leader Pelosi has a busy schedule this evening with five events including a longstanding commitment with constituents in town from San Francisco," Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said in an email to The Hill.
In addition to Pelosi, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Republican Reps. Candice Miller (Mich.) and Gregg Harper (Miss.) and Librarian of Congress Dr. James Billington were slated to present the Gershwin Prize to Joel.
Pelosi was one of several lawmakers eyed at the awards ceremony. ITK spies also spotted: Reps. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), Scott Rigell (R-Va.), Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho), Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska).