Vice President Biden will not attend Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to a joint session of Congress. Biden’s office confirmed Friday the vice president is expected to be traveling abroad on March 3, when Netanyahu is expected to deliver his widely anticipated speech.
“We are not ready to announce details of his trip yet, and normally our office wouldn’t announce this early, but the planning process has been underway for a while,” Biden’s office said in an email.
The address has infuriated the White House and congressional Democrats since Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) had arranged the speech with the prime minister without informing Obama administration officials, announcing the speech the day after the president’s State of the Union. Democrats have said it’s a violation of protocol, and a handful of lawmakers on Capitol Hill said they will not attend the speech.
The vice president would normally attend the speech in the House chamber and sit with Boehner just behind Netanyahu as part of his duties as president of the Senate.