Bernie Sanders says he will skip Netanyahu

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren to protest with striking Chicago teachers Sanders: 'Outrageous' to suggest Gabbard 'is a foreign asset' Democratic strategist: Sanders seeking distance from Warren could 'backfire' MORE (I-Vt.) said Monday he will not attend Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's March 3 address to Congress.

"The idea that the president wasn't consulted? That's wrong," Sanders said Monday during a speech at the Brookings Institution. "I am not going."
 
ADVERTISEMENT
Sanders, who is eyeing a run for the White House in 2016, is the first senator to say he will skip the speech, joining a growing group of Democrats who plan to be absent in protest of Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerIs Congress retrievable? Boehner reveals portrait done by George W. Bush Meadows to be replaced by Biggs as Freedom Caucus leader MORE's (R-Ohio) decision to invite Netanyahu without consulting the White House.
 
Democrats have questioned having Netanyahu address Congress so close to the Israeli elections, which are held in mid-March. Obama and Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryRomney earns rants and raves for secret Twitter name Overnight Energy: Farmers say EPA reneged on ethanol deal | EPA scrubs senators' quotes from controversial ethanol announcement | Perry unsure if he'll comply with subpoena | John Kerry criticizes lack of climate talk at debate John Kerry calls out lack of climate questions at debate MORE have said they will not meet with Netanyahu during his visit to avoid the appearance of trying to sway the outcome of that vote.
 
But Democrats are also concerned about Netanyahu using the speech to attack President Obama's nuclear disarmament negotiations with Iran. Netanyahu wants tougher sanctions for Iran, and has warned the talks could result in a "historic mistake" by the United States.
 
Vice President Biden on Friday announced he will not attend the speech because he will be traveling.
 
Reps. James Clyburn (S.C.), the third-ranking House Democrat, and Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.), chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, have also said they're not going to attend.