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Ellison to join McCollum in skipping Netanyahu

by Dan Burns on February 16, 2015

israelThere are interesting political dynamics here.

At least two members of Minnesota’s Congressional delegation say they won’t attend Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to a joint session of Congress on March 3.
U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum said (Feb. 9) that she wouldn’t attend the event. (Feb. 10), U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison followed suit saying he’s concerned that House Republicans and Netanyahu scheduled the speech to undercut President Obama’s negotiations with Iran.

Here is a list, apparently last updated Saturday, of where those in Congress nationwide who have said anything about the matter, stand. As far as Minnesota’s House delegation goes, Rep. Collin Peterson hasn’t said that he will attend, though if he doesn’t it will be because of other commitments, certainly not because of any intent to join progressives in a political statement. The other House members from both parties plan to be there. If you read the MPR article, note that Rep. Tom Emmer’s (R-MN) release is pure neocon propaganda, and exactly what you’d expect from that clown.

The situation with Minnesota’s U.S. senators is more intriguing; they haven’t made up their minds yet (I checked again first thing this morning). Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) skipping out would be the sort of boat-rocking that has always been political anathema to her, and I don’t anticipate it. But the possibilites with Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) are much more open.
I’ll believe it if it happens, but there are reports that Republicans will fill seats of those skipping the speech with GOP staffers who will heartily cheer ol’ “Bibi” on whenever cued. Hard to believe that even they’d open themselves to the kind of mockery such a stunt will invite.

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