Al Franken Joins 52 Other Democrats Who Have Announced They Will Skip Netanyahu Speech

al franken

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) has joined eleven more Democrats in announcing that they won’t be attending Netanyahu’s speech to Congress. The total of Democrats who are not attending the speech has jumped to 53.

In a statement, Sen. Franken said, “This has unfortunately become a partisan spectacle, both because of the impending Israeli election and because it was done without consulting the Administration. I’d be uncomfortable being part of an event that I don’t believe should be happening. I’m confident that, once this episode is over, we can reaffirm our strong tradition of bipartisan support for Israel.”

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) also announced that he will be skipping the speech, “I do not plan to attend the prime minister’s speech. I’m concerned that behind it was a mischievous effort to manipulate domestic politics in both countries, which should not be the terms of engagement between friendly allies.”

Franken and Whitehouse join five other Democratic senators who are skipping the speech. Forty-six House Democrats are also skipping the speech. A few of the House Dems have other commitments, but the vast majority are not attending because of the way that Speaker Boehner and Prime Minister Netanyahu disrespected President Obama.

There are still dozens of House and Senate Democrats who have not made up their minds about attending the speech. If you member of Congress or Senators is not on the list below there is still time to contact them and express your position. Netanyahu’s speech has become a partisan affair, as the attempt to disrespect the president has backfired on both Boehner and Netanyahu as Democrats are staying away by the dozens.

Here is the fully updated list via The Hill of those who will not be attending:


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. 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. Barbara Lee (Calif.)
Rep. John Lewis (Ga.)
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (Calif.)
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.)


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. Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.)

64 Replies to “Al Franken Joins 52 Other Democrats Who Have Announced They Will Skip Netanyahu Speech”

  1. Have you ever been double crossed by your best childhood friend? This is what BiBi Netanyahu just did to our President and to the citizens of the United States of America!

  2. “No double cross” is your argument?

    Should they pinkie swear to attend? With no take backs, of course!

  3. If it isn’t in our Constitution then you all tell me why Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson under Washington said there was? That right when Washington was President he directed the Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson to “Rebuke” the ambassador from France an send his home because he bypass the legislation an inter fer into our Foreign Policy of the United States! Thomas Jefferson explained this “Rebuke” by saying: Not only was it improper for any Foreigner to bypass the legislative Branch (the president), but it was unconstitutional for us to allow that to happen an he followed this statement up with, The United States also has a Protocol that we follow! Now please explain to me HOW two of our Fore Fathers can claim it is Unconstitutional an NOW it isn’t? Oh the France Ambassador was Mr. Genet. He also was a lucky man. Because France had elected a dictator that Washington an Jefferson had decided would murdered. So allowed him t remain on a farm in the U.S tell he died.

  4. Rude is calling the President a liar. Do you remember Wilson doing that. Half of the SCOTUS did not appear for this year’s SOTU Address. I guess that was ok, huh?

  5. Hooray for my Rep., Karen Bass. Also waiting for Boxer and DiFi to not attend. Boxer I am most hopeful about. DiFi is always a disappointment.

  6. Just FYI : The President is the executive branch of the government. Congress is the legislative branch.

  7. Bibi is the boy who cried wolf. For the last 2 decades he’s been saying Iran is inches away from a nuclear bomb. He helped lie us into Iraq for the same reason. That reason was also a lie. #SkipTheSpeech

  8. As a Democrat I asked both Schumer and Gilibrand not to attend. They can support Israel without interfering in Israeli politics and without letting Netanyahu interfere with our diplomacy. If they attend they are hypocrites and cowards.

  9. Unfortunately, my Representative, if you can call him that, is a Republican, so I’m sure he’ll be attending. I’ve written Senator Casey, but haven’t gotten a reply. I asked him to walk out when Mr. Netanyahu takes the podium. Hopeful.

  10. Netanyahu is trying to protect his country against an existential threat. I think those skipping his speech are behaving quite juvenile, at best. Personally, I am ashamed of them.

  11. No one has any problem with him protecting HIS country but the United States is not his country and we simply cant afford a war with Iran

  12. I have asked my Senators from NY, Schumer and Gillibrand, to not participate in this insult to the sovereignty of this country and to our President but they do not answer me. Schumer is a dual citizen of Israel and I suspect Gillibrand is, as well. The issue of people in our government who have a sworn allegiance to a foreign government equal to their allegiance to our own country needs to be addressed in the nation.

  13. @charlie, after reading that swill you threw up here, I’m gonna go out on a limb and ASSUME you’re either a republican or some loony tunes libertarian! either way, if my assumption is correct, YOU have NO room to be ashamed about the 53 democrats boycott that “THUG” from israel from speaking!! because YOUR GOP has lowered the bar so low, the ONLY way the democrats could possibly match them would be to go back to they’re pre 1960’s platforms on race!! BTW @charlie, I also assume, you cried like a baby sayings “I WANT MY COUNTRY BACK” in 2008 when america elected it’s first non caucasian president, RIGHT??

  14. Israel is a welfare dependent on the taxpayers of the USA but no friend. Friends do not attack an American navy ship and machine gun the sailors who are attempting to escape on a life raft as Israel did to the Liberty. Remember Jonathan Pollard, the most damaging spy against the United States in our history? He is a Jewish American who spied for Israel, causing the murders of our intelligence people and untold billions in damage to our intelligence agencies. And then there is the Israeli fake yellow cake letter which sent Bush on the way to war in Iraq. Israel is an enemy of the US.

  15. AIPAC, for those of you playing at home, stands for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. You know, “American” is first in the name. Unfortunately, the group has decided that this now means precisely nothing.

    The leadership of the most powerful pro-Israel lobby in the U.S. publicly broke Sunday from the White House over the issue of Iran policy during the first of a three-day policy conference in Washington attended by 16,000 of its members.

    Leaders of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or Aipac, outlined a strategy moving forward of working through Congress to disrupt any nuclear agreement with Tehran that is deemed too weak in denying the country a nuclear weapons capability.

    This would be achieved, they said, both by seeking to impose new sanctions on Iran and to block the White House’s ability to lift standing U.S. sanctions, which would be required as part of any comprehensive agreement.

    “Congress has a critical role” in determining this deal, Howard Kohr, Aipac’s executive director, said in opening remarks aimed at rallying the group’s membership. “Congress’s role doesn’t end when there is a deal. Congress must review this deal.”

    Mr. Kohr and other Aipac leaders believe any final agreement with Iran must involve the complete dismantling of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, something Obama administration officials have said is no longer on the negotiating table.

    Aipac also is seeking to impose new sanctions on Iran if there is no agreement by a late March deadline and to legislate an up-or-down vote in Congress. The White House is opposing both legislative actions.

    Aipac’s efforts to shape the Iran deal through the Congress are being driven by what the organization believes has been President Barack Obama’s wariness of using both financial pressure and the threat of military force to challenge Tehran.

  16. The biggest threat to Isreal seems to be from within. I would start with a closer look at Netanyahu. The guy who starts the war generally doesn’t end up the hero. The Jewish people don’t need to go back too far to see how that worked out.

  17. Very proud of the many who are attending the speech. The president has not interest in the affairs of Israel. Thank you to my senators and representatives who will be attending. Thank you for their unwavering support for Israel. Thank you for their unwavering support for the USA. I am tired of our president putting down this country. Thank you, thank you for my representatives representing the nation.

  18. Those not attending are acting childish. How can they make a good dicision without knowing what all the problems are? what are they afraid of?

  19. Our President is a liar Maxie 2014. He has lied about so many things I lost count. Mr. Netanyahu is still a head of state and deserves the respect that entails. He didn’t force himself on this, he was invited to speak. The Democrats who didn’t attend should be embarrassed and ashamed. They all represent ALL citizens of their states and that includes the Jewish community.

  20. Guess you don’t pay attention we are already at war with Iran through their sponsorship of world terrorism

  21. Let us be clear: He is not *our* head of state. You feature the uproar if Congress had invited Saddam Hussain to address Congress on how he didn’t have WMD after all.

  22. Bibi is not head of state. He is prime minister. It is an insult to all Americans that this warmonger insults our nation. We should cut all foreign aid until Israel apologizes for its behavior.

  23. “Our President is a liar Maxie 2014. He has lied about so many things I lost count.”
    No. He is not. Perhaps you are thinking about all the lies told about him by people who profess to be Christians but who look for every opportunity to “bear false witness” against him.

  24. You say the president has lied many times…can you list 4 lies that he has told? I would appreciate it. I don’t know what those lies are. But you do….can you share three or four of them for the public to know? Thanks, Brenda Phillips.

  25. rwilson0854, Clearly, you’re just another troll full hot air and arrogance. Where are all these supposed lies the President told?

    Oh, that’s right…THERE AREN’T ANY.

  26. Israel , we stand with you , thank God for a NETANYAHU
    leadership – YOUR WORDS -” NEVER AGAIN “are REALITY , NEVER AGAIN !!!!

  27. Yeah, I think that it is rude to call the President a liar too. But why do some many liberals have no problem with repeatedly calling Bush a liar? Is that not rude too?

  28. Times and traditions change. Washington and Jefferson were slave-owners and we rebuked that tradition too. There is nothing in the Constitution that states that Congress is precluded to allow a foreign leader speak before it. Others have and others will. As a matter of fact the Pope, the head of the Vatican (which is also considered a country) is scheduled to give a speech before Congress in September. Will you expect these same Dems to refuse to attend as well?

  29. I see so many morons on here bashing Democrats for not participating in an illegal move by the GOP. The same freaking shit as when the “decider” was in office. Naziyahoo isn’t saying anything he hasn’t said for twenty years, but Foxbots would lick his a##hole if he would bend over. Why don’t you morons read some Israeli news and find out this move probably ended Naziyahoo’s raping and pillaging of the Palestinians, as the Labor party is way ahead of the bastard now. Read those names, half of them are Jews that are not attending.

  30. I can’t believe how ignorant some of you are. Sorry for name calling in my opening sentence, but, really? It’s like you’re siding with terrorists over Israel, a country that has done nothing but DEFEND itself since it’s existence. Before you point your finger at Israel and say “they are the bad guys”, remember that the people of Israel are the only people in that whole region who don’t want to see Americans die. In regard to Netanyahu’s speech, I really think this whole controversy is so foolish and childish. Who cares who invited who? Who cares who showed up? The guy was invited, he accepted, and he’s trying to defend his country from surrounding countries that want it gone. Some people didn’t show up, ok, watch it online or on tv, no big deal. Give their seats to people who want them. CNN’s headline this morning: “Netanyahu to leak confidential information during his speech”..ya, that didn’t happen. I don’t know why we always focus on the nonsense

  31. oh come on man….. that was in 1967. Did the American Government do anything wrong to black people, or American Indians throughout it’s history? Sometimes you have to accept wrongdoings, forgive them, and move on for the hope of peace. The same goes for Israel and the Muslim countries surrounding it.

  32. Give them 2 nukes and ask me again. One for Israel one for America. It’s a hatred that they were taught to have as kids. Instead of focusing their energy and resources on education, equality and quality of life (like Israel, the US, and its’ ally’s have done), they spend it on violence and oppression. We’re not the enemy man. If you think we are because of what happened on the USS Liberty then i’m sorry I don’t have answers. I don’t know why that tragedy happened, but i’m sorry it did, and i’m sure the Israeli people are too.

  33. 1967 is a long time ago buddy. People like you are why there will always be violence in the world. You’re gonna teach your kids to hate the Jews and they will teach their kids and the cycle of violence and war will never end. What a great contribution to society you are.

  34. Hate the Jews? Where in any of my post did I say I hate the Jews? Now I know you have limited intelligence so I WILL GO REAL SLOW. My country is the United States. Likud does not run our foreign policy. Likud does not get to decide what our national interest are. And finally not one American life, not one dollar to appease bibi’s paranoia. So if that is hating the Jews then you are an even bigger idiot than I can imagined.

    The old fallback excuse for Likudnites. If you don’t agree with me then you hate the Jews. GTFOH WITH THAT BULLSHIT

  35. Many things happened a long time ago, you only want to live in the reality of your choosing, and ignore the rest. I’m sure the families of the dead sailors from the USS Liberty, take solace in the fact that that they were killed by friendy fire. Isreali friendly fire……..Oops.

  36. No one is deciding your national interest for you. No one’s telling you to go to war with Iran. What we are telling you is that if you allow Iran to have nuclear weapons (which no one is saying you are, but IF you allow that to happen), then they will immediately use it on Israel, followed by using it on the US. We are ASKING you to please not let that happen. It would not be good for anyone.
    I don’t understand where you’re hostility comes from. Unless you are a teenager or an old bitter man, you should be more open minded and be able to have a civilized conversation with someone.
    My bad with the “hate the Jews” comment. You just don’t want America to protect them anymore. If you become President and decide to go that rout then all I have to say is “Thanks for your support throughout the years, and hopefully we can work together in the future”.

  37. Have you read the Kirk/ Menendez resolution? That war mongerer has already said he would attack Iran without notifying the US and the language in that resolution would mean we would be dragged into a war started by the Likud party and we would end up paying for it which BTW a conservative estimate would cost 1.7 TRILLION DOLLARS IN THE FIRST 3 MONTHS.

    Go fight your own wars and leave us out of it

    Analysis of Faults in the Menendez-Kirk Iran Sanctions Bill (S. 1881)

  38. “Leave us out of it”? America will ALWAYS be at war!!!! War cost the Government and Tax payers 1.7 trillion, but the puppeteers who run the government make too much money off of it. Wake up you fool.

  39. I was raised catholic, but unless things have changed recently, I don’t think the pope is running for re-election.

  40. He could’ve sent a text or an e-mail. I’m sure he could have gotten the point across without exhibition he’s put on. This will blow up in his face before an Iraqi nuke.

  41. “…but unless things have changed recently, I don’t think the pope is running for re-election.”

    So which is it? Is it that he is running for reelection or your perception of the unconstitutionality that bothers you? It doesn’t bother me at all since I cannot vote in Israel, but I do care a great deal about a nuclearized Iran. If only Obama could speak with such clarity.

    Btw, what principle did you stand on when Obama gave a huge election rally in Germany during his 2008 election? Why was he campaigning in Germany? The Germans couldn’t vote for him…

  42. And where was the clarity in bibi rant? Did you read the transcript? Did you read the transcript when he spoke about Iraq in 2002. They both were the same nonsense and how well did Iraq work out

  43. Lets take this point by point, and I’ll try to make it simple for you. It does bother me that a man, not a citizen of the US, was invited to address congress. This was done solely as a rebuke to the president. As far as the constitutionality of it that was not my point. The reasoning of the speaker, seems to coincide with him not getting his way on several issues not related. Now asking the pope to speak is possibly political, but doesn’t have the same ramifications. Although the pope speaks to the catholics of the world, he does not speak for us as our political leader. The pope is not trying to sabotage talks that are being negotiated to peacefully keep Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. As to why any of them feel the need to go to Germany, England, Isreal or anywhere else, you’ll have to take that up with them. GB, had pretty much alienated people around the globe with his stupidity, that might have been a good enough reason.

  44. It is refreshing to hear someone on this blog who makes good common sense. I am referring to jb. His comments about israel are spot on. he makes his point without using foul language as some do. When others are lost as to what to say they use cheap put downs. Israel has fought three major wars for its survival. What on earth would you have israel do.

  45. Israel can fight the wars they want but what they cant do is expect us to fight for them. I don’t know why you cant understand that

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