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Blummy for Prez

Three prominent House Democrats are vowing to skip Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress next month.
WASHINGTON (AP) Three prominent House Democrats are vowing to skip Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress next month, saying they disapprove of House Speaker John Boehner's decision to invite the Israeli leader without consulting President Barack Obama.

Reps. John Lewis of Georgia, G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina and Earl Blumenauer of Oregon said they won't attend Netanyahu's March 3 speech.

The White House also hinted Thursday that Vice President Joe Biden may not attend Netanyahu's speech, which is expected to focus on Iran. Spokesman Josh Earnest said Biden takes "very seriously" his responsibilities as Senate president, including his ceremonial duty to attend joint sessions of Congress. However, Earnest noted that Biden missed a joint session in 2011 because he was traveling abroad.

Earnest said the vice president's travel schedule for early March has not been finalized.

He told reporters that Obama "does believe it is up to individual members of Congress to make their own decision about whether or not to attend."

Lewis, a hero of the civil rights movement, said Thursday that Boehner's unilateral invitation to Netanyahu was "an affront to the president and the State Department" that cannot be ignored. Butterfield, chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said Thursday he was "very disappointed that the speaker would cause such a ruckus" among members of Congress. He called the speaker's actions "unprecedented."

Blumenauer, a well-known liberal and advocate of alternative energy, called on Boehner last week to cancel the joint session with Netanyahu. If the speech goes forward, "I will refuse to be part of a reckless act of political grandstanding," Blumenauer said.

The Constitution vests the responsibility for foreign affairs in the president, Blumenauer said, adding that "it's deeply troubling that the speaker is willing to undercut diplomacy in exchange for theatrics on the House floor."

Three prominent House Democrats 08.Feb.2015 07:15

o

no, there not.

Outside their districts, nobody ever heard of these 3, until now.

prominent 08.Feb.2015 07:22

o

I misspoke, so here is a VERY rare correction for this website. (you might want to take a screen shot)

John Lewis is a well known milk-maid of his civil rights days. He has become rich promoting his advocacy for the abused.

facts 08.Feb.2015 15:20

informed

Fact 1. The outcry about this speech is the underhanded way that Bohner set it up, without going through proper diplomatic channels. No one would be boycotting if this had been handled correctly even if Netanyahu agreed with Obama.

Fact 2. This is all about the "screw Obama" mentality in Congress right now.

Fact 3. The people who are meeting privately with the Israeli ambassador urging him to cancel this speech are prominent Jewish members of Congress. Hardly anti-semites, rather people who want to see foreign affairs handled by the State Dept rather than one side of the House.

Fact 4. Prominent Israelis (including the former ambassador to the US) are calling for the speech to be postponed and re-scheduled with a proper invitation.

Fact 5. Just yesterday, the head of the Anti Defamation League called for this to be cancelled.

Hardly the act of anti semites.

This is not in any way about Israel or Iran anymore. It's about a power struggle between Obama and Bohner.

"screw who?" 08.Feb.2015 21:12

o

this is about screwing who?

If you mean that pResident who is short timing, nobody really cares what he thinks anymore. (as Michael Moore said, he won't really be remembered)
He had 2 years with control of the House and Senate in 2009 to 2012 that Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter could only dream of, and he blew it.
Everybody, Dem and GOP is looking to who is next, just watch the Sunday shows, or read the papers.

Netanyahu is the the latest mid-east "Mind over Matter" leader, in that Netanyahu no longer Minds, because the pResident no longer matters.

spin control 09.Feb.2015 09:15

anon

Obama lost the chance to do his agenda during the first two years because of the total incompetence of Pelosi and Reed. I blame them for being unable and/or unwilling to advance anything other than the opposition's agenda. Once the Republicans controlled the house it was all over.