Mike Johnson Says Netanyahu Will Soon Address Joint Session Of Congress

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) said Thursday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will soon address a joint session of Congress amid the country’s ongoing war with Hamas.

“Tonight, I’m happy to announce something else to you: We will soon be hosting Prime Minister Netanyahu at the Capitol for a joint session of Congress,” Johnson said during an event put on by the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C. “This will be a timely and I think a very strong show of support to the Israeli government in their time of greatest need.”

It’s unclear when exactly Netanyahu could address lawmakers, although Johnson has been tussling with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) over the invitation. Johnson gave Schumer an ultimatum to sign onto the invite earlier this week, saying if his colleague hadn’t done so, the House would invite him on its own.

Schumer told reporters Wednesday he was “discussing that now with the Speaker of the House.”

“And as I’ve always said, our relationship with Israel is ironclad and transcends any one prime minister or president,” the New York Democrat added.

Schumer condemned Israel’s approach in Gaza in March and called for the country to make “significant course corrections” in the war to protect civilians, a dramatic shift in his steadfast support for the country to that point.

He went on to say Netanyahu had “lost his way by allowing his political survival to take precedence over the best interests of Israel.”

Reps for Johnson and Schumer did not immediately reply to a request for comment on Thursday.

The specter of an invitation has prompted frustration from many Democrats, who remain angered with Israel’s ongoing assault in Gaza and the lack of progress on a cease-fire agreement.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was one of several members of Congress who vowed to boycott any address.

“It’s a terrible idea, no I won’t go,” Sanders told CNN on Wednesday. “You have a prime minister who has created the worst humanitarian disaster in modern history. Israel of course had the right to defend itself against the Hamas terrorist attack. But what Netanyahu has done is gone to war against, all-out war, against the entire Palestinian people.”

The invitation comes just days after the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said he had asked for arrest warrants for Netanyahu and the leaders of Hamas for war crimes and crimes against humanity over the ongoing war in Gaza. The prosecutor, Karim Khan, said the Israeli prime minister and the country’s defense minister, Yoav Gallant, were responsible for the crimes, linking the men to intentional attacks against civilians and the use of starvation as a weapon of war.

“The effects of the use of starvation as a method of warfare, together with other attacks and collective punishment against the civilian population of Gaza are acute, visible and widely known,” Khan said earlier this week.