The day after President Obama's State of the Union address, House Speaker John Boehner has invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to Congress in February.
Netanyahu’s Feb. 11 speech will be his third address before Congress.
“You may have seen that on Friday, the president warned us not to move ahead with sanctions on Iran, a state sponsor of terror,” Boehner said in a meeting of Republicans Wednesday morning, according to Politico. “His exact message to us was: ‘Hold your fire.’ He expects us to stand idly by and do nothing while he cuts a bad deal with Iran. Two words: ‘Hell no!’ … We’re going to do no such thing.
“I am specifically asking him to address Congress on the threats posed by radical Islam and Iran,” Boehner said. “America and Israel have always stood together in shared cause and common ideals, and now we must rise to the moment again. Let’s send a clear message to the White House — and the world — about our commitment to Israel and our allies.”
The move by Boehner comes just one day after Obama's yearly address to Congress, in which the president mentioned Israel but once. In his speech, Obama also vowed to veto any bill that would place additional sanctions on Iran.
“Our diplomacy is at work with respect to Iran, where, for the first time in a decade, we’ve halted the progress of its nuclear program and reduced its stockpile of nuclear material,” Obama said in his speech Tuesday night.
Obama warned that “there are no guarantees that negotiations will succeed, and I keep all options on the table to prevent a nuclear Iran,” adding that, “new sanctions passed by this Congress, at this moment in time, will all but guarantee that diplomacy fails — alienating America from its allies; and ensuring that Iran starts up its nuclear program again.”
“That is why I will veto any new sanctions bill that threatens to undo this progress,” Obama threatened.
Netanyahu vocally opposes any deal with Iran and has been critical of U.S. negotiations with the Islamic Republic.
“The Obama administration’s Iran policy is failing. Congress needs to place enhanced sanctions on Iran to demonstrate that we are serious about halting their nuclear weapons program. The president’s veto threat will only empower and embolden Iran to continue as a threat to the entire region and world,” Republican Jewish Coalition Executive Director Matt Brooks said in response to Obama’s speech.