TPM News

At least 50 lawmakers will boycott Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress on Tuesday, according to Tuesday morning whip counts.

According to The Hill, 56 Congressional Democrats have said they will not attend the speech, which House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) invited Netanyahu to deliver without first consulting the White House. By The Hill's count, seven Senate Democrats and 46 House Democrats will skip the joint meeting.

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President Obama on Monday said that the controversy surrounding Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress is a distraction, but will not hurt the United States' relationship with Israel in the long run.

"I don’t think it’s permanently destructive. I think that it is a distraction from what should be our focus," Obama told Reuters in a Monday interview.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech before Congress Tuesday on Iran's nuclear threat marks a low in U.S.-Israel relations. The speech, arranged with House Speaker John Boehner (D-OH) and without any notice to the White House or State Department, was seen as an unprecedented diss of a U.S. president, as interference in domestic U.S. politics, as a stunt to boost Netanyahu's re-election prospects back home, and as a threat to the bipartisan consensus on Israel in the U.S.

Check out TPM's comprehensive coverage:

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On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in King v. Burwell, the case that aims to cripple Obamacare by invalidating federal subsidies for some 7 million Americans.

The lawsuit challenges the legality of Obamacare premium tax credits in about three-dozen states which declined to build their own state-run exchanges and instead turned the task over to the federal government.

Here's a look at our coverage of King and the related case, Halbig v. Burwell.

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Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) on Monday said that he will not attend Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress on Tuesday, becoming the sixth Democratic senator to boycott the joint meeting.

"I’m concerned that behind it was a mischievous effort to manipulate domestic politics in both countries, which should not be the terms of engagement between friendly allies," Whitehouse said in a statement to Rhode Island television station WPRI.

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