Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

Speaker Mike Johnson says he plans to invite Netanyahu to speak to Congress

By 37ci3 Mar21,2024


WASHINGTON – House Speaker Mike Johnson said Thursday that he plans to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Congress for talks. Conflict against Hamas in Gaza.

“I would love to have him come and speak to a joint session of Congress. We will certainly extend that invitation,” Johnson told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

Johnson said Netanyahu has already invited him to speak at the Knesset and they just need to work out a schedule. The speaker then blasted Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D.N.Y. In his speech last week, he insulted Netanyahu’s leadership and called for new elections in Israel.

“To tell our most powerful ally in the Middle East, the only stable democracy, that it knows better how to run a democracy is absolutely absurd,” Johnson said. “I mean, imagine if I came on your show this morning and called for regime change in the middle of the crisis in Ukraine, fighting for their survival. That’s what Israel is facing right now. And for the leader of the Senate to say that’s just outrageous.”

Asked if Schumer would agree to have Netanyahu speak before Congress, Johnson said, “Well, I think we’ll find out. I mean, look, I’m the one who extends the invitations to speak in the House. Have the House, that’s fine. But I think he “The vast majority of the Senate will come and support Netanyahu and Israel.”

NBC News has reached out to Schumer’s office for comment.

Netanyahu last spoke to a joint session of Congress in 2015, when both houses were controlled by Republicans, and he used that speech to criticize the Obama administration over its negotiations with U.S. allies and the Iran nuclear deal.

Netanyahu addressed Senate Republicans via video for 45 minutes behind closed doors on Wednesday Schumer rejected the Israeli prime minister’s request to address the Democrats in the Senate.

“Sen. Schumer has made it clear that he doesn’t think these discussions should happen in a partisan way. It’s not good for Israel,” Schumer’s spokesman said Wednesday.

GOP senators who heard Netanyahu’s speech told them his main message was that Israel would “finish the job” against Hamas.

A US official said the White House expects to meet with an Israeli delegation in Washington next week after President Joe Biden invited a group of officials to visit. during a phone call before that The week with Netanyahu. During that conversation, Biden warned Israel’s prime minister not to continue his country’s planned ground offensive in Rafah, located southwest of Gaza, on the border with Egypt.

Another US official said the Biden administration would formalize advice to the Israelis to use small-scale operations that go after high-value Hamas targets and do not put civilians at risk.





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