Diplomatic Protocolsby Representative Marcy Kaptur
Posted on 2015-02-10
KAPTUR asked and was given permission to address the House for 1
Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Speaker, the planned upcoming speech before Congress
by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been mishandled from
the start. It is being brought forward in a manner that is in total
contravention of important diplomatic protocols that exist to support
America's strategic interests and, frankly, Israel's.
Mr. Speaker, this speech was agreed to unilaterally by the Republican Speaker of this House. He provided no courtesy nor prior notification to the executive branch, as is the standard course of protocol with foreign leaders.
This is a fundamental violation of our national unity on foreign policy. Our Constitution assigns the office of the President the right and responsibility to negotiate with foreign governments.
To circumvent this imperative and to invite a sitting head of state with no notification to the executive branch does harm to our national interests and our standing throughout the world.
At this time, while our executive branch is pursuing sensitive and promising nuclear negotiations with Iran, why would our Speaker behave so cavalierly? Shouldn't our Nation's executive and legislative branches be unified in matters of foreign policy with such grave ramifications beyond our shores? As this pending visit comes 2 weeks before the Israeli elections, it appears that our Congress will be used as a campaign backstop and backdrop for Israeli election politics. How unfortunate and how wantonly crass and insulting to this Congress and the Constitution we are all sworn to uphold.