WASHINGTON - Three Democratic lawmakers penned a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday insisting he answer accusations from Israeli officials that he misled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over his invitation to address Congress.
The letter, written by Congressmen Steve Israel (D-New York), Ted Deutch (D-Florida) and Nita Lowey (D-New York), harshly criticizes Boehner's moves as "partisan disregard of long-standing protocol."
Hill Democrats have expressed broad frustration over Boehner's handling of the speech. Some plan on boycotting its delivery on March 3, though all three representatives who penned the letter plan to attend.
The three authors, with staunch track records in favor of Israel, say that Boehner's invitation - and not Netanyahu's decision to accept - has created a distracting rift in the US-Israel relationship.
"The stakes are too high to be playing political games when it comes to our national security and the security of Israel," the letter reads. "Unfortunately, your recent actions have distracted our nation and the world from an essential discussion about how to achieve our shared goal of halting Iran's nuclear weapons program."