House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi took House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to task Thursday for his unexpected invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before a joint session of Congress.
Pelosi called Boehner’s invitation, issued without consulting other leaders in Congress, “out of order,” “inappropriate,” and an act of “hubris.”
“It’s out of the ordinary that the Speaker would decide that he would be inviting people to a joint session, without any bipartisan consultation,” she told reporters during her weekly press briefing.
The California lawmaker also expressed concerns about the proximity of the speech to the Israeli elections. “This presentation will take place within two weeks of the election in Israel. I don’t think that is appropriate for any country that the head of state would come here within two weeks of his own election in his own country.”
Pelosi further voiced reservations about the content of Netanyahu’s speech, highlighting her opposition and the Obama administration’s opposition to Iranian sanctions at this time, saying that sanctions at this point would not be helpful to the “delicate negotiations” underway.
“So what is the point of sanctions?” she asked. “And if that is the purpose of Netanyahu’s visit two weeks before his election, right in the midst of our negotiations, I just don’t think it’s appropriate or helpful.”
Wednesday, Boehner invited Netanyahu, without consulting the White House, to speak before a joint session of Congress about “the grave threats radical Islam and Iran pose to our security and way of life.”
Netanyahu has agreed to speak to Congress on March 3, according to a tweet from House Speaker Boehner’s account.