February 27, 2015

Heinrich will not attend Netanyahu speech

Capitol Hill Building, Washington DC

Heinrich said he will watch the speech about Iran in his office but that he will not attend the speech because he views it as Netanyahu “using the floor of the United States Congress as a stage for his election campaign.”

Here is the full statement from Heinrich provided to New Mexico Political Report:

I am always happy to listen to what Prime Minister Netanyahu has to say. I intend to watch his speech about Iran from my office, but I have strong objections to using the floor of the United States Congress as a stage for his election campaign–or anyone’s for that matter. The U.S.-Israeli alliance is too important to be politically exploited just days before Israeli voters go to the polls.

Many view the speech as a way to bolster Netanyahu’s upcoming reelection bid.

Earlier this month, New Mexico Political Report reached out to the offices of each member of New Mexico’s congressional delegation to see if they planned on attending the speech.

The offices of Sen. Tom Udall and Reps. Ben Ray Lujan and Steve Pearce each said they would attend. Heinrich said he would not attend and the office of Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham did not provide an answer.

At that time, a number of Democrats had said they would not attend, most citing the way in which Netanyahu was invited to make the speech.

Speaker of the House John Boehner invited Netanyahu to speak to Congress without first consulting the White House. This is a breach in normal protocol for inviting a foreign leader to address Congress.

In recent days, more Democrats have said they would not attend.

Correction: This post was updated to clarify Heinrich views the speech as Netanyahu bolstering his bid for reelection as Israeli Prime Minister.


  • Matthew Reichbach

    Matthew Reichbach is the editor of the NM Political Report. The former founder and editor of the NM Telegram, Matthew was also a co-founder of New Mexico FBIHOP with his brother and one of the original hires at the groundbreaking website the New Mexico Independent. Matthew has covered events such as the Democratic National Convention and Netroots Nation and formerly published, “The Morning Word,” a daily political news summary for NM Telegram and the Santa Fe Reporter.