Tags: boehner | netanyahu | speech | obama

Boehner Feared White House Interference in Israeli Invite

By    |   Sunday, 15 February 2015 10:10 AM

House Speaker John Boehner denied he has turned the planned joint address to Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu into a political football, telling Fox News that he didn't want the White House trying to stop the speech.

In an interview taped Friday and aired on "Fox News Sunday," Boehner said, "We had every right to do what we did."

Host Chris Wallace asked Boehner why he told Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer not to tell the White House when the two were arranging Netanyahu's visit

"Because I wanted to make sure that there was no interference," Boehner said. "There's no secret here in Washington about the animosity that this White House has for Prime Minister Netanyahu. And I frankly didn't want them getting in the way and quashing what I thought was a real opportunity."

The White House and congressional Democrats blasted Boehner's move, announced the morning after Obama's State of the Union address, as a breach of protocol.

But Boehner said Iran's nuclear ambitions are a serious threat to the world, and the American people need to hear Netanyahu's views. The prime minister has said a nuclear Iran poses an existential threat to the Jewish nation.

Netanyahu is slated to tell Congress why he believes they should pass sanctions against Iran. The White House believes that will hurt ongoing talks, but Republicans believe they bolster Obama's hand.

Boehner says additional sanctions wouldn't take effect anyway unless the talks fail.

"He doesn't understand that we're trying to strengthen his hand," Boehner said.

Boehner said Obama's request for a limited authorization to use force against the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) isn't smart since he his asking Congress for less authority than he already has under authority granted President George W. Bush after 9/11.

"We need a robust strategy to take on ISIL," Boehner said. "No one has seen one from this White House yet."

He called Obama's request the "beginning of the process," and said it is too early to predict what the final version will look like.

Turning to the Homeland Security budget, Boehner said Senate Democrats should get the blame if funding expires later this month.

"The House has acted. We've done our job," Boehner said.

With Republicans six votes shy of the 60 members needed to avert a filibuster, the responsibility for passing the budget is in the hands of Democrats, he said.

The House bill funds DHS except for the executive actions on immigration enacted by Obama in November. Boehner told Fox that if Democrats want to make amendments they have that right.

"If the Senate doesn't like it, they'll have to produce something that fits their institution," he said.

Boehner defended criticism from The Wall Street Journal editorial board and others that the new Republican majority isn't getting things done.

Congress already sent "several dozen bills" to Obama's desk, which he has signed, Boehner said, and other bills on the Keystone XL pipeline and efforts to repeal parts of Obamacare also have passed the House despite Obama's promise to veto them.

Boehner defended his appointment of a select committee to investigate the attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, that left U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others dead.

He insisted the new probe is not designed to hurt former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's expected run for president, though he admitted that if she has facts she can supply, "we need to know them."

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House Speaker John Boehner says the White House might have tried to quash his plan to have Israeli's prime minister speak to Congress if it had gotten wind of the invitation.And that helps explain why Boehner made the offer to Benjamin Netanyahu without letting the White...
boehner, netanyahu, speech, obama
Sunday, 15 February 2015 10:10 AM
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