McConnnell, McCarthy accept Biden invitation to pre-inauguration church service

Greg Nash

All four top-ranking members of congressional leadership have accepted President-elect Joe Biden’s invitation to attend a church service with him Wednesday morning ahead of his inauguration, according to multiple reports. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) will join Biden for mass at Washington’s Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle.

Biden is the second Catholic elected president, after President John F. Kennedy.

Punchbowl News first reported the invites and leaders’ plans to attend, which were later confirmed by CNN, NBC and ABC. The Hill has confirmed McCarthy’s acceptance of the invitation. 

The Hill has reached out to McConnell’s office for confirmation. 

The reports come as President Trump himself is set to be the first president in 150 years not to attend his successor’s inauguration. Vice President Pence is scheduled to be present at the ceremony, while the president himself will attend a sendoff ceremony at Joint Base Andrews.

The bipartisan leaders’ attendance also comes as Biden has repeatedly signaled his commitment to national unity ahead of the inauguration.

McCarthy was one of more than 100 House Republicans who objected to Biden’s Electoral College victory following a deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol. 

Both chambers of Congress had broken off separately to debate an objection to Arizona’s election results when the mob of Trump supporters breached the Capitol. 

McConnell, meanwhile, spoke out against the challenge in the Senate and joined the vast majority of his fellow Senate Republicans in voting to certify the election results.

Washington will be on high alert this week amid the inauguration following the riots, particularly in parts of Washington where the power of the federal government is concentrated. On Monday, the Capitol was briefly placed on lockdown over what was later confirmed to be a fire in a homeless encampment.  

Updated at 11:33 a.m.

Tags Charles Schumer Chuck Schumer Donald Trump Joe Biden Kevin McCarthy Mitch McConnell Nancy Pelosi
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