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Bernie Sanders says he will skip Netanyahu

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersABC names new deputy political director, weekend White House correspondent Ron Johnson forces reading of 628-page Senate coronavirus relief bill on floor GOP pulling out all the stops to delay COVID-19 package 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."
 
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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 BoehnerThree ways James Kvaal can lead postsecondary education forward Boehner book jacket teases slams against Cruz, Trump Cruz hits back at Boehner for telling him to 'go f--- yourself' 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 KerryEconomic growth in Africa will not be achieved by a blanket ban on fossil fuels Biden can build on Pope Francis's visit to Iraq OVERNIGHT ENERGY: House Democrats reintroduce road map to carbon neutrality by 2050 | Kerry presses oil companies to tackle climate change | Biden delays transfer of sacred lands for copper mine 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.