House GOP Mulls Inviting Netanyahu to Address Congress

Published March 20, 2024

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address the Senate Republican Conference on Wednesday, while House GOP leadership mulls inviting Netanyahu to speak before Congress.

Axios reported that House Republicans are considering inviting Netanyahu to address Congress.

The idea was discussed at a closed-door GOP conference meeting on Wednesday morning, the outlet said.

“It was suggested by several folks” to House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., one GOP lawmaker told Axios.

The discussion also was confirmed by Rep. John Duarte, R-Calif., who added there is “strong support to show respect for Israel’s sovereignty.”

At least one House Democrat said he likely would attend a Netanyahu speech before Congress.

“I hope that leadership in Israel understands that the relationship is only strengthened by making sure that both sides of the aisle support Israel,” Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., told Axios.

Netanyahu will speak to Senate GOP members via video conference Wednesday during the group’s weekly luncheon, The Hill reported.

He had been slated to speak to the group last week during its annual retreat but had to back out at the last minute.

The prime minister’s appearance before the Senate Republicans comes less than a week after Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called on Israel to hold new elections because Netanyahu has “lost his way” in the Israeli bombardment of Gaza and a growing humanitarian crisis there.



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US House Speaker Mike Johnson speaks with reporters at the Capitol in Washington, March 20, 2024. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Published March 20, 2024

US House Speaker Mike Johnson confirmed on Wednesday that the legislative chamber’s Republican caucus is considering inviting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress, amid a deepening divide between the premier and Democrats over the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.

“It’s one of the things that we have in mind, and we may try to arrange for that,” Johnson told reporters. “I think it’s very important for us to show solidarity and support for Israel right now in their time of great struggle, and we certainly stand for that position and we’ll try to advance that in every way that we can.”

The House speaker said he’d had a “lengthy conversation” with Netanyahu earlier in the day, and “reiterated to him the House Republicans’ strong support for Israel.”

To address a joint session of Congress, though, Netanyahu would also need buy-in from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who just last week gave a lightning-rod speech declaring that the Israeli premier has lost his way and should be replaced in early elections.




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