Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu walks with House Speaker John Boehner, on May 24, 2011.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu walks with House Speaker John Boehner, on May 24, 2011. Evan Vucci/AP

Boehner Invites Israeli Prime Minister To Address Congress Next Month

House Speaker John Boehner requested in a letter Wednesday that Benjamin Netanyahu speak before a joint meeting of Congress in February. By Marina Koren

President Obama warned Congress last night that he would veto any sanctions legislation on Iran, saying it would derail U.S. negotiations with the Middle East. But John Boehner isn't ready to sit out the battle over Iran's nuclear program, and on Wednesday, he invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress next month.

"Prime Minister Netanyahu is a great friend of our country, and this invitation carries with it our unwavering commitment to the security and well-being of his people," the House speaker said in a statement. "In this time of challenge, I am asking the prime minister to address Congress on the grave threats radical Islam and Iran pose to our security and way of life."

Boehner said during his weekly press briefing that he did not consult with the Obama administration before extending the invitation.

Netanyahu would give the speech to a joint session of Congress on Feb. 11. CNN reports that Netanyahu has accepted the invitation.

A yearlong effort to reach a deal with Iran to dismantle parts of its nuclear program failed in November, forcing the U.S. and its allies to declare a seven-month extension on negotiations. Republicans say these kinds of concessions—and any future ones—are putting U.S. security at risk, according to a House leadership aide.

Boehner's invite adds fuel to a potential showdown between Congress and the White House over Iran, one that could lead to the first successful veto override of President Obama's tenure. Twelve Democrats in the Senate have previously cosponsored legislation to impose sanctions on Iran. If they continue to call for sanctions alongside their Republican colleagues, the Senate may have the two-thirds majority necessary to override an Obama veto.