February 12, 2015

Most of delegation plans on attending Netanyahu speech

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Capitol Hill in Washington D.C.

Capitol-HillAt least three of the members of the New Mexico congressional delegation plan on attending a speech to Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on March 3.

A spokeswoman for Sen. Martin Heinrich told New Mexico Political Report that he has not decided whether to attend but “he has concerns.” The office of Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham did not provide an answer, though this post will be updated when an answer is provided.

Several members of Congress, all Democrats, have announced that they will not attend Netanyahu’s address to the joint session of Congress.

The dispute comes over the fact that Speaker of the House John Boehner invited Netanyahu to address Congress without consulting the White House. Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, has had a contentious relationship with Barack Obama’s White House.

Sen. Tom Udall’s office confirmed that he will attend the speech, as did the offices of Reps. Ben Ray Lujan and Steve Pearce. Pearce is the lone Republican in the

A spokeswoman for Udall simply said, “Yes, Tom plans to attend” in an email. Pearce’s office responded, “Yes” to the question of whether or not Pearce would attend.

Lujan is the only member to provide a longer statement. In addition to representing New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District, Lujan serves as the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, a key campaign position for House Democrats.

“I plan to attend the Prime Minister’s speech,” Lujan said. “I do, however, have concerns with how this speech was scheduled and the timing. Our commitment to Israel must remain bipartisan. The failure to properly consult with the White House and Congressional Democrats needlessly injected partisan politics into this issue.”

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