Big deal: 11 Dem Reps, 1 Dem Senator to skip Netanyahu speech
The Hill reports that 11 Democratic Representatives and one Democratic Senator plan to boycott Prime Minister Netanyahu's address to a joint session of Congress in March. Here's the list:
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (Ore.) — Wrote a Jan. 29 column in The Huffington Post explaining his decision, saying the Constitution “vests the responsibility for foreign affairs in the president.”
Rep. G.K. Butterfield (N.C.) — The head of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) in a statement focuses on Boehner undermining Obama; also emphasizes he's not urging a boycott.
Rep. James Clyburn (S.C.) — Clyburn is the highest-ranking Democratic leader to say he’ll skip the speech.
Rep. Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.) — Grijalva is the head of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC).
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (Ill.) — A spokesman told the Chicago Sun-Times Gutierrez has a "strong" record on Israel, but called the speech "a stunt."
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) — "The Congresswoman has no plans to attend the speech at this time," a spokeswoman said.
Rep. Barbara Lee (Calif.) — A member of the Congressional Black Caucus and former head of the CPC.
Rep. John Lewis (Ga.) — His office confirmed he’s not going, but emphasizes he's not organizing a formal boycott
Rep. Jim McDermott (Wash.) — “I do not intend to attend the speech of Bibi,” he said in an email to a Seattle newspaper.
Rep. Gregory Meeks (N.Y.) — Another CBC member skipping the speech.
Rep. Charles Rangel (N.Y.)
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) — Sanders said it’s “wrong” that Obama wasn’t consulted about the speech.I counted at least four members of the Congressional Black Caucus - no surprises there. In the meantime, a much longer list of Dems plans to attend. And Keith Ellison (D-Mn), the first Muslim in Congress, is undecided!
Read the whole thing.