House Speaker Kevin McCarthy promised to bring Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Capitol Hill in Washington if US President Joe Biden continued to refuse to invite him to the White House."I'll invite the prime minister to come meet with the House. He's a dear friend, as a prime minister of a country that we have our closest ties with,” McCarthy told the Hebrew daily Yisrael HaYom on the first day of his two-day trip to Israel.McCarthy arrived with a bi-partisan delegation of 19 other members of Congress to celebrate Israel’s 75th anniversary. He is expected to address the Knesset plenum on Monday, a rare move that has been done only once before by Newt Gingrich in 1998.The bi-partisan delegation’s visit is viewed as symbolic of the strong Israeli-US ties at a time when tensions are high between Biden and Netanyahu over the latter’s judicial overhaul plan.
The invitation that never came
Netanyahu had expected to be invited to the White House after his new government was sworn in at the end of December. Despite initial promises that an invitation would be forthcoming, Biden publicly stated he had no plans to invite Netanyahu at this time.
The Biden administration fears that the overhaul would weaken Israeli democracy, while Netanyahu has argued that it would strengthen it.McCarthy told Yisrael HaYom that to much time had lapsed. "I think it's too long now. He [Biden] should invite him soon,” McCarthy said.McCarthy has in the past spoken strongly in support of Netanyahu who he is expected to meet during the visit.