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Tuesday, Mar 03rd

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Israeli Official Suggests Boehner Misled Netanyahu On Congress Speech

netanyahuA senior Israeli official suggested on Friday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been misled into thinking an invitation to address the U.S. Congress on Iran next month was fully supported by the Democrats.

Netanyahu was invited by the Republican speaker of the house, John Boehner, to address Congress on March 3, an invitation Boehner originally described as bipartisan.

The move angered the White House, which is upset about the event coming two weeks before Israeli elections and that Netanyahu, who has a testy relationship with Democratic President Barack Obama, is expected to be critical of U.S. policy on Iran.

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ADL Chief Calls on Netanyahu To Scrap Speech to GOP Congress

BibiAs the controversy surrounding Benjamin Netanyahu speech to Congress reaches new heights, one of the Jewish community’s top leaders is calling on the Israeli prime minister to stay home.

Abrahm Foxman, national director of the Anti Defamation League said that the political uproar ignited by Netanyahu’s invitation to speak to a joint meeting of Congress makes such a move unhelpful and therefore it should be scrapped.

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Israeli officials fail to quell Democratic revolt

Dems revolt against NetanyahuIsraeli Ambassador Ron Dermer and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein rushed to meetings on Capitol Hill on Wednesday trying to calm a furor created by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s planned speech to Congress next month and quell a Democratic revolt that has dozens threatening a boycott.  It didn’t work.

If anything, Democrats finished the day more frustrated. According to a source in the room, one Jewish Democratic member of Congress even accused Dermer of being insincere when he claimed not to have anticipated the partisan uproar he’d ignite when he skirted protocol and went around the White House and scheduled the speech only with House Speaker John Boehner.

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DOD fights bill that would block effort to close Guantanamo

gitmoA Defense Department official is pushing back against a bill to place new restrictions the president's ability to transfer terror suspects out of the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Brian McKeon is principal deputy undersecretary of defense for policy. McKean told the Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday that the bill proposed by four powerful GOP senators would effectively ban most transfers from Guantanamo for two years. He says it would block progress toward the goal of closing the detention center.

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Senate passes bill approving Keystone XL oil pipeline

Senate passes Keystone pipeline billThe Republican-controlled Senate on Thursday approved a bipartisan bill to construct the Keystone XL oil pipeline, defying a presidential veto threat and setting up the first of many battles with the White House over energy and the environment.

The 62-36 vote advanced a top priority of the newly empowered GOP, and marked the first time the Senate passed a bill authorizing the pipeline, despite numerous attempts to force President Barack Obama's hand on the issue. Nine Democrats joined with 53 Republicans to back the measure.

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House GOP Abruptly Drops Plans to Debate Abortion Bill After Revolt by GOP Women, Others

House GOPHouse Republicans have abruptly dropped plans to debate a bill banning virtually all late-term abortions after objections from GOP women and other lawmakers left them short of votes.

The decision was embarrassing for Republican leaders eager to display a united, GOP-led Congress.

Republican leaders had planned to push the legislation through the House on Thursday. But after meeting repeatedly with female lawmakers and others who were unhappy with the measure, they decided late Wednesday to postpone that debate indefinitely.

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GOP Plans To Give Explosive Document Back To CIA

Ricgard BurrThe new GOP chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee intends to give back to the CIA an explosive, secret document that has been at the center of a years-long struggle between Congress and the executive branch.

The chairman, North Carolina’s Richard Burr, is also asking executive branch agencies to return unredacted copies of the 6,600 page torture report, he told The Huffington Post in an interview Tuesday night.

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