A House Democrat said Sunday that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) made a "terrible mistake" by inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to Congress, in part because Netanyahu will likely push Congress to pass a bill that President Barack Obama opposes.
Netanyahu is expected to talk about the need to hit Iran with tougher sanctions, something Obama opposes as his administration tries to negotiate a nuclear non-proliferation deal with Iran.
"I think this was a terrible mistake by the speaker," Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said Sunday. Schiff said Netanyahu was invited "effectively to lobby in favor of a bill that the president opposes."
Schiff also adopted the White House's line that the U.S. shouldn't meet with heads of state so close to their elections. Netanyahu will address a joint session of Congress on March 3, just two weeks before Israel's election.
"It used to be at least the goal that politics ended at the water's edge, now it only begins there," Schiff said. "I think for us to extend an invitation two weeks before the Israeli election gives Israelis the impression we're trying to meddle in their politics."
Schiff said for both of these reasons, Netanyahu's visit is "harmful to the U.S.-Israel relationship."