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.