Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.) on Sunday called the invitation extended to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before Congress a "terrible mistake."

"I think this was a terrible mistake by the Speaker," Schiff said on CNN's "State of the Union."

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"I think for us to extend an invitation two weeks before the Israeli election gives Israelis the impression we're trying to meddle in their politics and I also find it extraordinary that a world leader would be invited before the Congress effectively to lobby in favor of a bill that the president opposes," Schiff added.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) drew sharp criticism from Democrats lasat week after inviting Netanyahu to speak before a joint session of Congress without consulting the White House.

"I think it's harmful to the U.S.-Israel relationship. I think it was a very ill-considered decision by the Speaker," Schiff said. 

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough called the relationship with Israel the "most important" in the world to the U.S., one that is "deep and abiding."

He said the reason the president would not meet with Netanyahu came down to the fact that Israel's election is just around the corner.