House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced Thursday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address a joint session of Congress on March 3.
On Wednesday, Boehner invited Netanyahu to speak to Congress, and suggested February 11. But Boehner said Netanyahu suggested a later date so he could attend the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's annual meeting in Washington.
Israel's U.S. embassy also confirmed Netanyahu's appearance:
.@IsraeliPM Netanyahu has accepted the invitation to speak before a joint meeting of Congress. He will deliver the address in early March.— Embassy of Israel (@IsraelinUSA) January 22, 2015
Boehner indicated that he invited Netanyahu to speak to start a real discussion in the United States about the growing threat of terrorism in the world. He criticized President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech on Tuesday for glossing over this threat.
"There is a serious threat that exists in the world, and the president last night kind of papered over it," Boehner told reporters Wednesday.
That criticism did not go unnoticed at the White House, where spokesman Josh Earnest said Boehner didn't give the Obama administration any advance warning about his invitation to Netanyahu.
"The typical protocol would suggest that the leader of a country would contact the leader of another country when he's traveling there," Earnest told reporters. "That certainly is how President Obama's trips are planned when he travels overseas. This particular event seems to be a departure from that protocol."