McConnell and Reid to meet with Netanyahu


Senate leaders from both parties will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his visit to Washington, D.C., next week.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will meet with Netanyahu on Tuesday afternoon, after his address to a joint session of Congress on the Iranian nuclear threat.

{mosads}On Wednesday, Netanyahu declined an invitation to meet only with Senate Democrats, fearing it would “compound the misperception of partisanship” surrounding his visit.

The bipartisan invite comes amid rising tension between the Obama administration and Netanyahu.

National security adviser Susan Rice on Wednesday called Netanyahu’s visit “destructive” to U.S. relations with Israel, and more than two-dozen Democrats have said they will skip the address, according to a Whip List compiled by The Hill.

Democrats have sharply criticized Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) for inviting Netanyahu without notifying the White House. President Obama and other top administration officials have said they will not meet with Netanyahu because his visit comes just two weeks before the Israeli elections.

Netanyahu and Obama are at odds over the diplomatic talks aimed at ending Iran’s nuclear program, with the Israeli leader warning the U.S. could make a “historic mistake” that threatens Israel’s security. He is expected to make that case during his address to Congress.

The Israeli prime minister will also speak to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference next Monday. Obama will not attend the event, nor will Vice President Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry.

The White House is sending United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power and Rice instead. 

Tags Boehner Harry Reid John Boehner John Kerry Mitch McConnell Samantha Power

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