Elizabeth Warren Becomes The 8th Senator and 56th Democrat To Skip Netanyahu Speech

Elizabeth Warren Becomes The 8th Senator and 56th Democrat To Skip Netanyahu Speech

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren became the eighth senator and fifty-sixth Democrat to announce that she will not be attending Netanyahu’s address to Congress.

In a statement Sen. Warren said, “I strongly support Israel, and I remain deeply concerned about the prospect of an Iranian nuclear weapon, which I discussed in detail with Prime Minister Netanyahu when we met in Jerusalem last November. It’s unfortunate that Speaker Boehner’s actions on the eve of a national election in Israel have made Tuesday’s event more political and less helpful for addressing the critical issue of nuclear nonproliferation and the safety of our most important ally in the Middle East.”

The Democrats who are skipping the speech have made it clear that their decision was based on Speaker of the House John Boehner turning the speech into a partisan political affair. Boehner’s motivation was to divide Democrats and humiliate the president. Boehner and his fellow Republicans are also desperate to assert their power in some way. As each of their legislative efforts to use their congressional majority have failed, Rep. Boehner (R-OH) has resorted to more desperate means to prove his relevance.

The mainstream press has taken to calling this a difficult decision for Democrats, but there hasn’t been much public agonizing, because Democratic leadership, including the White House, washed their hands of Boehner’s stunt early on by leaving the decision up to each member. By taking this course, Democrats made sure that Boehner never got the partisan with or against Israel framing of the speech that Republicans wanted.

In total, nearly a quarter of all Democrats in the House and Senate are not attending the speech. The joint the session of Congress that Netanyahu speaks to will contain nearly five dozen empty seats. The Democrats have exposed Netanyahu’s speech a desperate failed grab for power and publicity. The members of the Democratic caucus who took this stand deserve praise for sticking by their convictions.

Here is The Hill’s updated list of Democrats who will not be attending:

HOUSE:

Rep. Karen Bass (Calif.)
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (Ore.)
Rep. Corrine Brown (Fla.)
Rep. G.K. Butterfield (N.C.)
Rep. Lois Capps (Calif.)
Rep. Andre Carson (Ind.)
Rep. Joaquin Castro (Texas)
Rep. Katherine Clark (Mass.)
Rep. Lacy Clay (Mo.)
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (Mo.)
Rep. James Clyburn (S.C.)
Rep. Steve Cohen (Tenn.)
Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.)
Rep. John Conyers (Mich.)
Rep. Danny Davis (Ill.)
Rep. Peter DeFazio (Ore.)
Rep. Diana DeGette (Colo.)
Rep. Lloyd Doggett (Texas)
Rep. Donna Edwards (Md.)
Rep. Keith Ellison (Minn.)
Rep. Chaka Fattah (Pa.)
Rep. Marcia Fudge (Ohio)
Rep. Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.)

Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (Ill.)
Rep. Denny Heck (Wash.)
Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (Texas)
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (Texas)
Rep. Marcy Kaptur (Ohio)
Rep. Rick Larsen (Wash.)
Rep. Barbara Lee (Calif.)
Rep. John Lewis (Ga.)
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (Calif.)
Rep. Dave Loebsack (Iowa)
Rep. Betty McCollum (Minn.)
Rep. Jim McDermott (Wash.)
Reps. Jim McGovern (Mass.)
Rep. Jerry McNerney (Calif.)
Rep. Gregory Meeks (N.Y.)
Rep. Gwen Moore (Wis.)
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.)
Rep. Beto O’Rourke (Texas)
Rep. Chellie Pingree (Maine)
Rep. David Price (N.C.)
Rep. Charles Rangel (N.Y.)
Rep. Cedric Richmond (La.)
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (Ill.)
Rep. Bennie Thompson (Miss.)
Rep. Mike Thompson (Calif.)
Rep. John Yarmuth (Ky.)

SENATE:

Sen. Al Franken (Minn.)
Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.)
Sen. Patrick Leahy (Vt.)
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)
Sen. Brian Schatz (Hawaii)
Sen. Martin Heinrich (N.M.)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA)

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