49 Democrats skipping Netanyahu’s speech; some CT congressmen confirm they’re attending

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WASHINGTON (CNN) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday has further strained an already tense relationship with President Barack Obama.

And a number of top Democrats — including Vice President Joe Biden, whose job description includes the title President of the Senate — won’t be attending.

Netanyahu is expected to use the speech to sharply criticize the White House’s efforts to negotiate a deal on Iran’s nuclear program and to urge Congress to pass new sanctions on the nation, a position that puts him sharply at odds with the president. On Tuesday, National Security Adviser Susan Rice said Netanyahu’s decision to speak was “destructive to the fabric of the relationship” between Israel and the U.S.

The White House is uncertain what precise details may come out, but Netanyahu is expected to use the details to bolster his argument before Congress that the deal under discussion will not prevent Iran from getting a bomb and could therefore threaten the Jewish state’s existence.

“The release of that information would betray the trust between our allies, and it certainly is inconsistent with the behavior of trusted allies,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Monday.

The expected substance of the speech, coupled with the fact that the White House was not alerted to the invite ahead of time, has Democrats crying foul.

Forty-two Democratic House members and seven Democratic senators have said in recent weeks they’re not going to the speech, many in protest to a move that they say is an affront to the president.

Fox CT reached out to local Congressional leaders, and so far Rep. Elizabeth Esty’s office has said she plans to attend the speech, as does Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

Here is Blumenthal’s statement on the matter:

I will attend Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech, seeking to help sustain and strengthen strong bipartisan support for the historic bond between the United States and Israel. I believe that Speaker Boehner’s invitation – without consulting the President – was unfortunate and inappropriate, but boycotting the speech only undermines bipartisanship. The strategically vital relationship between our two countries should not be used for partisan advantage either here or in Israel.

A full list of the Democrats who have confirmed they’re missing the speech follows:

SENATE – 7 members

Sen. Al Franken (Minn.)

Sen. Martin Heinrich (N.M.)

Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.)

Sen. Patrick Leahy (Vt.)

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)

Sen. Brian Schatz (Hawaii)

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.)

HOUSE – 42 members

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (Ore.)

Rep. Corrine Brown (Fla.)

Rep. G.K. Butterfield (N.C.)

Rep. Andre Carson (Ind.)

Rep. Joaquin Castro (Texas)

Rep. Katherine Clark (Mass.)

Rep. William Lacy Clay (Mo.)

Rep. James Clyburn (S.C.)

Rep. Steve Cohen (Tenn.)

Rep. Danny Davis (Ill.)

Rep. Peter DeFazio (Ore.)

Rep. Diana DeGette (Colo.)

Rep. Lloyd Doggett (Texas)

Rep. Donna Edwards (Md.)

Rep. Keith Ellison (Minn.)

Rep. Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.)

Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (Ill.)

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.)

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (Texas)

Rep. Marcy Kaptur (Ohio)

Rep. Barbara Lee (Calif.)

Rep. John Lewis (Ga.)

Rep. Dave Loebsack (Iowa)

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (Calif.)

Rep. Betty McCollum (Minn.)

Rep. Jim McDermott (Wash.)

Rep. Jim McGovern (Mass.)

Rep. Jerry McNerney (Calif.)

Rep. Gregory Meeks (N.Y.)

Rep. Glen Moore (Wis.)

Rep. Beto O’Rourke (Texas)

Rep. Donald Payne (N.J.)

Rep. Chellie Pingree (Maine)

Rep. David Price (N.C.)

Rep. Charles Rangel (N.Y.)

Rep. Cedric Richmond (La.)

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (Ill.)

Rep. Adam Smith (Wash.)

Rep. Bennie Thompson (Miss.)

Rep. Mike Thompson (Calif.)

Rep. John Yarmuth (Ky.)

Rep. Karen Bass (Calif.)