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Fri Jan 23, 2015, 05:16 PM

Democrats rally around Obama amid furore over Netanyahu Congress visit [View all]

Source: The Guardian

The White House is growing more confident it can withstand efforts to frustrate its policy of nuclear talks with Iran, as a furore over the intervention of the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, appears to be encouraging wavering Democrats to rally around their president.

In the first White House press conference since the Republican House speaker, John Boehner, sparked controversy by inviting Netanyahu to speak before a joint session of Congress amid calls for a tougher approach to Iran, administration officials claimed there was support for their argument that planned legislation authorising new sanctions, if talks fail, would be counter-productive.

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Earnest refused to speculate on a likely vote count, but sympathetic lobbyists in touch with Democratic congressmen claim the polarising impact of Boehner’s invitation to Netanyahu is making it harder for Republicans to reach a veto-proof majority for the sanctions bill.

“This move by Netanyahu has definitely backfired in terms of Democrats,” said Dylan Williams, director of government affairs at J-Street, a Washington lobby group which describes itself as pro-Israel but supports a two-state peace process for a Palestinian state.

J-Street sent out a letter to its US supporters on Friday, urging them to warn their congressmen not to support the visit, which will fall just two weeks before elections in Israel.

“This invitation looks like a thinly veiled attempt to scuttle the critical negotiations taking place right now aimed at ensuring that Iran never acquires a nuclear weapon,” said the letter. “Bibi and Obama disagree on how to deal with Iran, and that’s fair. But a foreign leader lobbying Congress is inappropriate.”

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jan/23/democrats-obama-boehner-netanyahu-congress-visit

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Reply Democrats rally around Obama amid furore over Netanyahu Congress visit [View all]
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