All The Democrats Boycotting Benjamin Netanyahu's Speech To Congress Tuesday

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - NOVEMBER 18: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a press conference on November 18, 2014 in Jerusalem, Israel. Netanyahu said incitement by the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and Islamic Jihad led to a terrorist attack in a Jerusalem synagogue, which killed four worshippers and wounded several others. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)
Source: Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images News/Getty Images

On Tuesday morning, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will finally deliver his heavily debated, highly controversial speech to Congress. For weeks now, the speech has caused a firestorm of partisan opposition stemming from House Speaker John Boehner bypassing the White House in inviting Netanyahu to speak. Not only has the speech caused considerable damage in U.S.-Israel relations — particularly over the U.S.'s impending nuclear deal with Iran — but it's also divided Congress on what has long been a bipartisan issue. In a show of support for president Obama and his nuclear goals with Iran, at least 60 Democrats are boycotting Netanyahu's Congress speech, The Huffington Post reported Monday.

The ordeal began when Boehner invited Netanyahu without consulting the White House first, which Democrats viewed as a clear dismissal of Obama's authority and foreign policy. The move violates U.S. policy not to invite leaders to speak right before an election — Netanyahu will face reelection on March 17. Also adding to the tension, Netanyahu is expected to voice his opposition to the U.S.-Iran nuclear deal, which further undermines the administration's efforts.

In an attempt to preemptively diffuse some of the tension before his much-anticipated speech, Netanyahu made a much less controversial one at the annual pro-Israel AIPAC conference on Monday. In his speech, Netanyahu restated his support for Obama and emphasized that his speech before Congress is "not intended to inject Israel into the American partisan debate."

He told the crowd:

Never has so much been written about a speech that hasn’t been given. My speech is not intended to show any disrespect to President Obama or the esteemed office that he holds. I have great respect for both.

He also addressed the fracture his speech has caused in Congress, saying:

Israel has always been a bipartisan issue. Israel should always remain a bipartisan issue.

However, it might be too late for that. As of Tuesday, over 50 Democrats have publicly pledged to skip Bibi's speech, including President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. Here's everyone in Congress who will be boycotting Netanyahu's speech on Tuesday.

House of Representatives

  • Rep. Karen Bass (Calif.)
  • Rep. Earl Blumenauer (Ore.) 

  • Rep. Corrine Brown (Fla.)

  • Rep. G.K. Butterfield (N.C.) 

  • Rep. Lois Capps (Calif.) 

  • Rep. Andre Carson (Ind.)

  • Rep. Joaquin Castro (Texas)

  • Rep. Katherine Clark (Mass.)

  • Rep. Lacy Clay (Mo.)

  • Rep. James Clyburn (S.C.) 

  • Rep. Steve Cohen (Tenn.)

  • Rep. John Conyers (Mich.)

  • Rep. Danny Davis (Ill.)

  • Rep. Peter DeFazio (Ore.)

  • Rep. Diana DeGette (Colo.)

  • Rep. Lloyd Doggett (Texas)

  • Rep. Donna Edwards (Md.)

  • Rep. Keith Ellison (Minn.)

  • Rep. Chaka Fattah (Pa.)

  • Rep. Marcia Fudge (Ohio)

  • Rep. Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.)

  • Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (Ill.)

  • Rep. Denny Heck (Wash.)

  • Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (Texas)

  • Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (Texas)

  • Rep. Marcy Kaptur (Ohio)

  • Rep. Rick Larsen (Wash.)

  • Rep. Barbara Lee (Calif.)

  • Rep. John Lewis (Ga.)

  • Rep. Dave Loebsack (Iowa)

  • Rep. Zoe Lofgren (Calif.)

  • Rep. Betty McCollum (Minn.)

  • Rep. Jim McDermott (Wash.)

  • Reps. Jim McGovern (Mass.) 

  • Rep. Jerry McNerney (Calif.) 

  • Rep. Gregory Meeks (N.Y.) 

  • Rep. Gwen Moore (Wis.)

  • Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.)

  • Rep. Beto O'Rourke (Texas)

  • Rep. Chellie Pingree (Maine)

  • Rep. David Price (N.C.) 

  • Rep. Charles Rangel (N.Y.) 

  • Rep. Cedric Richmond (La.)

  • Rep. Jan Schakowsky (Ill.)

  • Rep. Bennie Thompson (Miss.)

  • Rep. Mike Thompson (Calif.)

  • Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (N.J.)
  • Rep. John Yarmuth (Ky.)

Senate

  • Sen. Al Franken (Minn.) 

  • Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.) 

  • Sen. Patrick Leahy (Vt.) 

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) 

  • Sen. Brian Schatz (Hawaii) 

  • Sen. Martin Heinrich (N.M.) 

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) 

  • Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.)

Images: Getty Images (2)


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