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Boehner Invites Netanyahu to Address Congress in February

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Image: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a joint press conference with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (not pictured) in Tel Aviv, Israel, 15 July 2014. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier 'in all urgency' has urged the responsible parties in the Gaza Strip to accept an Egyptian-brokered truce with Israel. 'The doors for a ceasefire are now opened and I hope it will be possible to take further steps on this road,' he told a news conference in Tel Aviv with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. DAN BALILTY / POOL via EPA, file

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House Speaker John Boehner is inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress on February 11.

The invitation comes as the Hill braces for a clash with the White House over sanctions on Iran.

Boehner told reporters that he did not consult the White House before extending the invitation, adding "I do not believe I am poking anyone in the eye."

For Netanyahu, the address will also come about one month before Israel's upcoming election.

In Tuesday night's State of the Union speech, President Barack Obama told members of Congress that he will veto any new Iran sanctions bill, which he says would undermine the chance for a long-sought nuclear deal with the country.

"There are no guarantees that negotiations will succeed, and I keep all options on the table to prevent a nuclear Iran. But new sanctions passed by this Congress, at this moment in time, will all but guarantee that diplomacy fails — alienating America from its allies; and ensuring that Iran starts up its nuclear program again," he said.

But many members of Congress, particularly Republicans, say that new sanctions are necessary to ensure the security of the United States and Israel.

Netanyahu last addressed Congress in 2011.

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- Alex Moe and Carrie Dann

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