Netanyahu to Meet Bipartisan Senate Leaders

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will meet with the Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate on Tuesday, after he addresses the Congress, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Thursday, according to Reuters.

The meeting will involve Netanyahu, McConnell and Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid, the report said, and comes amid tensions between Democrats and Republicans surrounding Netanyahu’s speech.

The invitation to Netanyahu to address Congress was extended by the Republican House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, who did so without  consulting the White House or the Democrats, and later explained he felt it was important to do an end-run around White House "interference".

Democrats were outraged, with Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy saying he would not attend the speech and accusing Republican leaders in the House of Representatives of "unilaterally" arranging and politicizing Netanyahu's planned address.

Other lawmakers threatened to boycott the speech as well. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said there would be no organized "boycott" of Netanyahu's speech, but she suggested some lawmakers might “be too busy to attend”.

Earlier this week, senior Democratic Senators Richard Durbin and Dianne Feinstein invited Netanyahu to a closed-door meeting with Senate Democrats – separate from his Congress speech – during his trip to Washington. 

Netanyahu declined the invitation, explaining that accepting it would “compound the misperception of partisanship regarding my upcoming visit.”

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/191908

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