House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) both turned down invites to speak at the 50th anniversary of the March On Washington, Roll Call reported Wednesday.
According to the newspaper, the Republican House leaders cited scheduling conflicts, with Boehner attending a different congressional Martin Luther King ceremony, and Cantor on an energy trip in North Dakota.
“The leader hopes it’s an outstanding event fitting of the incredible legacy of Dr. King and is honored to have had the ability to honor that legacy earlier this year in Selma, Alabama, with Congressman John Lewis,” Cantor spokesman Rory Cooper told Buzzfeed.
Both surviving Republican Presidents, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, were also invited. But the pair was unable to attend due to recoveries from recent health issues, USA Today reported.
"Laura and I thank the King family and all who work to carry on the legacy of a great man and the promise of a great nation," George W. Bush said in a statement obtained by USA Today. "May we continue to march toward the day when the dignity and humanity of every person is respected."