Washington (CNN) – The last living U.S. World War I veteran, who passed away this week, will receive an honors burial at Arlington National Ceremony, but he likely will not be honored in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda as many had hoped.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-West Virginia, had introduced a resolution in the Senate that would authorize the use of the Capitol to honor Frank Buckles.
Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, who represents Buckles' West Virginia district, also introduced legislation last year to allow the nation's last "Doughboy" to lie in honor in the Rotunda upon his death.
But on Thursday, Rockefeller released a statement expressing disappointment that the legislation had been blocked by House Speaker John Boehner.
"This is a big disappointment and a surprising decision by the Speaker," Rockefeller said in the statement. "Surely, Speaker Boehner can agree that the Congress should pause for a moment to pay its respects to Mr. Buckles and all our World War I veterans."
But Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said that no legislation has been blocked, and said that Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Reid decided that Arlington National Cemetery is a more appropriate venue.
"Everyone honors Mr. Buckles' service to the United States, and the extraordinary sacrifices made by every member of our Armed Forces who served in World War One," Steel said. "That's why Speaker Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Reid will ask Secretary Gates to allow Mr. Buckles' family to use the amphitheater at Arlington cemetery for his memorial service – surrounded by honored veterans of every American war."
Steel added that they have not ruled out some sort of memorial at the Capitol.
Buckles, who marked his 110th birthday on February 1, died of natural causes at his home in Charles Town, West Virginia. Up until his death, Buckles dedicated his time to advocating for the creation of a national World War I memorial on the National Mall.
Both Rockefeller and Capito have been strong supporters of Buckles' advocacy of World War I veterans, and have cosponsored legislation to rededicate the District of Columbia War Memorial as the District of Columbia and National World War I Memorial.