Biden Expected to Miss Netanyahu Speech Due to Foreign Travel

Image: Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu walks behind U.S. Vice President Biden before their meeting in Jerusalem
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) walks behind U.S. Vice President Joe Biden before their meeting at Netanyahu's residence in Jerusalem March 9, 2010. Biden assured Israel on Tuesday of Washington's commitment to its security and said the agreed resumption of Israeli-Palestinian talks provided a "moment of real opportunity" for peace. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun (JERUSALEM - Tags: POLITICS)RONEN ZVULUN / Reuters

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Vice President Joe Biden is expected NOT to attend a March 3 speech at the Capitol by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu because he will be traveling abroad, Biden’s office confirmed to NBC News Friday.

It is not clear yet where Biden will be traveling at the time of Netanyahu’s speech, which has become controversial both because of its proximity to the Israeli elections and because it was planned by Republicans without prior consultation with the White House.

As NBC News reported earlier this week, some high-profile Senate Democrats are considering skipping the speech.

"I've heard some colleagues are very concerned by it, and I'm troubled by it," said Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois. "I just think it's a serious mistake by the Speaker and by the Prime Minister."

The Associated Press first reported the news that Biden is expected to miss Netanyahu’s address to Congress.