(WASHINGTON) — While some prominent Democratic lawmakers accepted an invitation to accompany President Obama on his trip to Israel this week, various top Republicans opted not to join them.
Among them: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia. Cantor, who is Jewish, was invited to attend a state dinner in honor of the president in Jerusalem but turned down the request because of a vote in Washington on government funding and the 2014 budget.
Other GOP lawmakers said that their schedules conflicted with Obama’s visit to Israel, his first as president.
Meanwhile, Florida Congressman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, and New York Congressman Eliot Engel, the top Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, eagerly agreed to make the trip.
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Eric Bradner, Shimon Prokupecz and Dan Merica, CNN
Jeremy Diamond, CNN
David Chalian, CNN