Johnson, Scalise, not expected to attend annual bipartisan Israel trip led by Democrat Hoyer

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to address a joint session of Congress on July 24

Published: June 17, 2024 11:58am

Updated: June 17, 2024 12:33pm

The GOP-controlled House's top two Republicans – Speaker Mike Johnson and Majority Leader Steve Scalise – are not expected to attend the chamber's annual bipartisan trip to Israel, which is being led by Rep. Steny Hoyer, a long-time House Democratic leader. 

The trip this week is ahead of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's July 24 joint address to Congress, which has become a political lightening rod within the Democratic Party with members split between their support for Israel or the Palestinians in the Gaza war.  

South Carolina Republican Rep. Joe Wilson, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s subcommittee on the Middle East, is planning to go on the trip but no one from the House GOP leadership is expected to join him, according to Punchbowl News.

In past Israel trips, such members of GOP House leadership as former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy have joined.

House Democrat leader Hakeem Jeffries and Senate Democrat leader Chuck Schumer, both of New York, have been criticized from within their party for having signed off on the Netanyahu address. 

California Democrat Rep. Ro Khanna said Sunday that he wouldn’t be going on the Israel trip.

“I will not attend," he said on NBC-TV. "I said that if he wants to come to speak to members of Congress about how to end the war and release hostages, I would be fine doing that. But I’m not going to sit in a one-way lecture.”

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