House Speaker John Boehner snubbed President Obama by inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address congress regarding the Iranian threat. Boehner’s actions are in response to President Barack Obama’a State of The Union address. The discussion will reportedly take place on Feb. 11 in a joint Congressional session.
The disapproval Boehner showed was toward Obama’s threat to veto further sanctions on Iran. According to BBC News, John Boehner felt that the Obama Administration was ignoring the threat by stating his reason for inviting Netanyahu.
“Prime Minster Netanyahu is a great friend of our country, and this invitation carries with it our unwavering commitment to the security and well-being of his people. In this time of challenge, I am asking the prime minister to address Congress on the grave threats radical Islam and Iran pose to our security and way of life.”
The initial announcement Netanyahu’s visit was during a private GOP meeting, of which not even the White House was aware. A senior administration official made a statement of the exclusivity of the meeting in a recent interview.
“We found out from Boehner’s staff this morning-no head’s up from the Israelis, and no discussion with Boehner’s staff in advance either. So, pretty big diplomatic foul on both sides.”
Iran was not the only concern John Boehner had toward Obama’s State of the Union address. The Speaker also rebuffed statements the president made on several matters, including taxes. Boeher made a statement just after the address that put his feelings into perspective.
“Finding common ground is what the American people sent us here to do, but you wouldn’t know it from the president’s speech tonight. While veto threats and unserious proposals may make for good political theater, they will no distract this new American Congress from our focus on the people’s priorities.”
Different opinions have surfaced on the matter of the prime minster’s visit. When asked about it, White House Press Secretary John Earnest described John Boehner’s actions as a breach to usual protocol. In his own defense, Boehner considered his invitation fitting due to the fact the President Obama ‘papered over’ the threats from Iran and has poorly handled the U.S.-Israel alliance.
Many critics side with Boehner but many also scrutinize the fact that this will not be Prime Minister Netanyahu’s first address to Congress since John Boehner has been Speaker of the House. When called out for ‘over-stepping,’ Boehner responded defensively.
“The Congress can make this decision on its own. I don’t believe I’m poking anyone in the eye.”
At present, Benjamin Netanyahu has not officially accepted the speech offer from House Speaker John Boehner.