Boehner: ‘We have every right to’ invite Netanyahu to speak

Boehner: ‘We have every right to’ invite Netanyahu to speak

Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerDemocrats eager to fill power vacuum after Pelosi exit Stopping the next insurrection Biden, lawmakers mourn Harry Reid MORE (R-Ohio) said Sunday that he did not need President Obama’s consent to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin (Bibi) NetanyahuMORE to speak to Congress.

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“The fact is we have every right to do what we did,” Boehner said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”

“I wanted the prime minister to come here,” he continued. “There’s a serious threat facing the world. Radical, Islamic terrorists are not going to go away. The president devoted but a few words to it in the State of the Union. And then when it comes to threat of Iran getting a nuclear weapon, these are important messages that the Congress needs to hear and the American people need to hear, and I believe Prime Minister Netanyahu is the perfect person to deliver the message of how serious this threat is.”

Democrats have threatened to boycott Netanyahu’s speech because they say the invitation from Boehner as a slight to Obama.

Obama has said that he did not invite Netanyahu to speak himself because the U.S. typically shies away from allowing foreign leaders to visit when they are close to elections in their home countries.

Netanyahu, who vocally opposed Obama’s own bid for re-election in 2012, is facing an election on March 17. He is scheduled to speak to Congress on March 3.

Boehner said Sunday that he did not consult the White House before he arranged the speech because he did not believe the administration would allow the Israeli prime minister to address lawmakers.

“I frankly didn’t want them getting in the way and quashing what I thought was a real opportunity,” he said.