Statement by Rep. Jared Huffman on Boehner Invitation to Netanyahu

February 02, 2015

WASHINGTON­—Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael)  today released the following statement on Speaker Boehner’s invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress:

“Because Israel is an important friend and strategic ally of the United States, I would ordinarily welcome an address from the Israeli Prime Minister to a joint session of Congress. However, I strongly object to Speaker Boehner’s unilateral invitation for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to Congress on March 3rd.  

“The Speaker’s refusal to confer with President Obama or congressional Democrats on this matter is a clear breach of protocol. Moreover, the timing and context of the speech smacks of political opportunism: an attempt to undermine the President in the middle of delicate nuclear negotiations with Iran, while inappropriately projecting political support for Mr. Netanyahu in the middle of Israel’s election.

“Our foreign policy should be above political stunts, and the longstanding relationship between the United States and Israel deserves more respectful and responsible behavior than what we have seen from those who so recklessly orchestrated this event.  

“I call upon Speaker Boehner and Ambassador Dermer to do the right thing and postpone this speech. Once the election in Israel is over and the current P5+1 negotiating deadline has passed, they should respect protocol and confer with President Obama and congressional Democrats on a time for the Prime Minister of Israel to address a joint session of Congress.”