ST. PAUL, Minn. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann says she's honored to be part of the congressional delegation headed to London for the funeral of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, announced Monday that Bachmann would be one of three House members in the official delegation, along with Republican Reps. Marsha Blackburn and George Holding of North Carolina.
"Margaret Thatcher was one of the greatest champions freedom has ever known, and her funeral gives Americans and friends around the world an opportunity to pay final respects," Boehner said in a statement. "I'm pleased that Congressman Blackburn will lead a House delegation to Baroness Thatcher's funeral to communicate our prayers and condolences to her family and the British people."
Bachmann has long spoken highly of Thatcher as a conservative icon. During Bachmann's failed presidential run, she said she would emulate Britain's Iron Lady.
"I am humbled and honored to be one of three members of the U.S. House of Representatives to be selected by Speaker John Boehner to attend Baroness Margaret Thatcher's funeral," Bachmann said in a statement. "Americans must never forget her friendship with former President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II and their work together to promote freedom, which changed the course of history.
"Not only was Margaret Thatcher a role model for conservative women across the globe, but she was also one of the most consequential political leaders of our time," she continued. "She was a life-long champion of free markets, freedom and individual liberty and had the courage to fight for her convictions even in the face of undeserved ridicule. Though she was misunderstood by her critics, she proved them wrong by the results of her policies, which brought prosperity and increased happiness to the people of Great Britain. While we mourn her loss, we also remember the extraordinary legacy she left behind. May the great Lady rest in peace."
The funeral for Thatcher, who died last week, will take place Wednesday at St. Paul's Cathedral. Bachmann and the rest of the House delegation will fly commercial to London; in February, Boehner suspended the use of military aircraft for official trips by House members, part of the belt-tightening by Congress in response to automatic, across-the-board spending cuts that kicked in March 1.