Pelosi: No Organized Dem. Boycott Of Netanyahu Address, But Members May Have Scheduling Conflicts

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) says that while Democrats do plan an organized boycott of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress, some members simply might not be able to make it due to their schedules.

“You never know, things happen in people’s schedule,” she told reporters Thursday. “You just never know.”

“People are here doing their work, they’re trying to pass legislation, they’re meeting with their constituents and the rest. It’s not a high priority item for them,” Pelosi explained of joint session addresses.

The Democratic leader said that “as of now” she is planning on attending but nonetheless hopes the address does not happen.

“Don’t even think of the word boycott,” she said. “Members will go or they won’t go. As they usually go or they don’t go.”

Democrats have criticized House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) invitation to Netanyahu and the Israeli’s leader’s acceptance of that request because it was done without White House input and comes at a time when the administration is engaged in nuclear negotiations with Iran.

They have also taken issue with the fact that Netanyahu will be speaking to Congress two weeks before he faces reelection back in Israel.

Boehner defended his invitation of Netanyahu Thursday.

“It was a very good idea. There’s a message that the American people need to hear and I think he is the perfect person to deliver,” he told reporters.

“The threat of radical Islamic terrorism is a real threat,” Boehner continued. “The threat of Iran to the region and the rest of the world is a real threat. And I believe that the American people are interested in hearing the truth about what’s happening in that part of the world.”