Monday, December 9, 2013

The Delegation

The list is out:

(CNN) – More than 20 members of the U.S. House, mostly Democrats, and Republican Sen. Ted Cruz will travel to South Africa to honor and commemorate former South African president and anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela.

House Speaker John Boehner tapped Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Illinois, to lead the official delegation of House members to South Africa for Tuesday’s service. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus, including Chairwoman Marcia Fudge, will join the official congressional delegation.

The group of 24 members of the House of Representatives and Senate will leave early Monday morning for the service Tuesday in Johannesburg at FNB Stadium.

Here’s a list, which is subject to change, of the other U.S. lawmakers who will join the delegation, according to a senior Democratic aide:

Rep. John Conyers, D-Michigan; Rep. Charles Rangel, D-New York; Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia; Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Washington; Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Democratic delegate from D.C.; Rep. Maxine Waters, D-California; Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Virginia; Rep. Melvin Watt, D-North Carolina; Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas; Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland; Rep. Donna Christensen, Democratic delegate from the Virgin Islands; Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-New York; Rep. Barbara Lee, D-California; Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-North Carolina; Rep. Al Green, D-Texas; Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wisconsin; Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-New York; Rep. Karen Bass, D-California; Rep. Terri Sewell D-Alabama; Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio; Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Florida.

Cruz will join the delegation despite intense criticism of Mandela from some of his supporters responding to a respectful tribute the Texas Republican issued after the leader died Thursday.

Mr. Cruz got an earful from his knuckle-dragging supporters who thought he was a true white guy, and I’ll give him props for sticking to his stand.

But I’ll be curious to see if he’ll pull a Gingrich if he and the delegation fly on Air Force One and he has to deplane from the rear exit.  That could lead to another government shutdown.