[guest post by Dana]
Whether you are in the diplomatic breach of protocol camp or the Speaker grew a pair camp, it is safe to say that House Speaker John Boehner’s invite to Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before Congress next month about the Iranian nuclear program has angered the White House. Boehner was prompted to make the offer after the president made it clear that he would veto legislation that would increase sanctions against Iran.
Boehner justified his actions:
“The Congress can make its decision on its own” — but he also insisted, “I don’t believe I’m poking anyone in the eye.”
“There is a serious threat that exists in the world, and the president last night kind of papered over it,” Boehner said. “And the fact is is that there needs to be a more serious conversation in America about how serious the threat is from radical Islamic jihadists and the threat posed by Iran.”
He told GOP lawmakers this morning:
“[Obama] expects us to stand idly by and do nothing while he cuts a bad deal with Iran. Two words: ‘Hell no!’ We’re going to do no such thing,” Boehner said Wednesday in a meeting of House Republicans. “Let’s send a clear message to the White House, and the world, about our commitment to Israel and our allies.”
“Prime Minister 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,” Boehner said in a statement on Wednesday. “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. Americans and Israelis have always stood together in shared cause and common ideals, and now we must rise to the moment again.”
Josh Earnest responded to the news :
“The typical protocol would suggest that the leader of a country would contact the leader of another country when he’s traveling there,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest. “That certainly is how President Obama’s trips are planned when he travels overseas. This particular event seems to be a departure from that protocol.”
Earnest said the White House was made aware of the invitation before Boehner’s office released a letter dated Jan. 21 inviting Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress on Feb. 11.
Earnest claims the White House was not angry because Boehner did not reach out to them first. Riiight… He also found the invite “interesting.”
Netanyahu has accepted Boehner’s invitation.
Let the games begin.