Bernie Sanders says he will skip Netanyahu

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersProgressives soaring after big primary night 'Absolutely incredible': Ocasio-Cortez congratulates Cori Bush on upset victory over Lacy Clay Sanders supporters launch six-figure ad campaign explaining why they're voting for Biden 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 BoehnerBottom line Cheney battle raises questions about House GOP's future Lott says lobbying firm cut ties to prevent him from taking clients 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 KerryThe Memo: Biden faces balancing act Budowsky: Trump October surprise could devastate GOP Hillicon Valley: Democrats request counterintelligence briefing | New pressure for election funding | Republicans urge retaliation against Chinese hackers 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.