Rep. John Lewis and other black lawmakers affiliated with the Congressional Black Caucus are preparing to skip Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress, saying the invite from Speaker John Boehner is a legislative overreach and an “affront” to President Obama.
“I think it’s an affront to the president and the State Department, what the speaker did,” Mr. Lewis said, The Associated Press reported.
CBC chairman G.K. Butterfield also said he’s skipping Mr. Netanyahu’s speech on March 3, calling it an “unprecedented overreach of the Speaker’s authority,” The Hill reported.
He went on: “It is baffling that Speaker Boehner, who incessantly proclaims executive overreach by the president, would buck long-standing diplomatic protocol to extend such an invitation. His actions unnecessarily politicize our steadfast relationship with Israel, and potentially subvert U.S. foreign policy.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, on the other hand, announced she would attend the speech — but still hopes it’s canceled, The Hill said.
“As of now, it is my intention to go,” she said during a press briefing in the Capitol, The Hill reported. “It’s still my hope that the event will not take place.”