“I don’t believe I’m poking anyone in the eye,” House Speaker John Boehner asserted Wednesday. That was after His Speakership told the media that he had invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before a joint session of Congress about “the grave threats radical Islam and Iran pose to our security and way of life.”
Of course it was a poke in the eye. Boehner admitted he did not consult with the White House before inviting Bibi. Netanyahu wants Congress to threaten tougher sanctions against Tehran. During his State of the Union address Tuesday, President Barack Obama warned Congress he would veto any such legislation.
Boehner’s gambit stunned the White House. Press secretary Josh Earnest called the move a breach of protocol. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said the invitation was “out of order.” When she was speaker, Pelosi argued, she coordinated with GOP leaders before inviting heads of state. Netanyahu’s speech was moved to March 3, so Pelosi criticized Boehner for inviting a head of state within two weeks of Israel’s March 17 elections. “It’s hubris,” Pelosi charged.