Politics

Obama, Joe Biden Trips Send Top Officials Abroad At Same Time

FILE - President Barack Obama stands with Vice President Joe Biden as he makes a statement in this Dec. 19, 2012 file photo taken in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, about policies he will pursue following the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Ct. Facing an end-of-the-month deadline, the Obama administration is calling gun owner groups, victims' organizations and representatives from the video-game industry to the White House Biden will meet Wednesday Jan. 9, 2013 with gun violence victims' groups and gun safety organizations, a White House official said. On Thursday, he will hold talks with gun ownership groups, as well as advocates for sportsmen. for discussions on potential policy proposals for curbing gun violence. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
FILE - President Barack Obama stands with Vice President Joe Biden as he makes a statement in this Dec. 19, 2012 file photo taken in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, about policies he will pursue following the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Ct. Facing an end-of-the-month deadline, the Obama administration is calling gun owner groups, victims' organizations and representatives from the video-game industry to the White House Biden will meet Wednesday Jan. 9, 2013 with gun violence victims' groups and gun safety organizations, a White House official said. On Thursday, he will hold talks with gun ownership groups, as well as advocates for sportsmen. for discussions on potential policy proposals for curbing gun violence. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will, for the first time during the administration, both be off U.S. soil Tuesday night.

The Washington Post reports that the overseas travel plans of the president and vice president will overlap Tuesday night. Obama will be en route to the Middle East, while Biden will be on his way back from Rome.

Obama and Biden's simultaneous absences shouldn't cause panic, though. Despite being out of the country, the president is still in command.

“The fact remains that President Obama is president of the United States everywhere he goes. Vice President Biden is vice president of the United States everywhere that he goes,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Tuesday. ”There’s no reason that that should in any way impact the day-to-day running of the country.”

Should anything happen to both Obama and Biden during their travels, John Boehner's (R-Ohio) position as speaker of the House puts him third in the line of presidential succession. Boehner's office has declined to comment on the congressman's feelings on the matter, according to The Washington Post.

Speculation arose last week as to whether the top-ranking officials' travel plans would overlap.

"We do take those considerations into account and do prudent planning to ensure that we are prepared for any contingencies and we often seek to coordinate their travel for that purpose," White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said Thursday, according to Reuters, before official travel schedules had been released.

Now it's clear that Obama and Biden will be out of the country at the same time, but only for a little over an hour. The president is set to depart for Israel at 8:00 p.m. ET, and Biden is scheduled to land back in Washington, D.C. around 9:20 p.m., according to USA Today.

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