Christian Coalition

Senate Democrats are jamming up Republican efforts to fast-track a bill giving Congress a vote on any nuclear agreement with Iran. 

With diplomatic talks still underway, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., had wanted to tee up a procedural vote next week on the legislation giving Congress a say. 

"Congress must be involved in reviewing and voting on an agreement reached between this White House and Iran," McConnell said on Tuesday -- the same day Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the pending deal "paves Iran's path to the bomb" and urged the U.S. not to accept it. 

But several Democratic senators, including Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking member Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., want McConnell to wait. Though they support the legislation, they don't want him bringing the bill directly to the floor without first going through committee. 

In a letter to McConnell, they said the move suggests "the goal ... is to score partisan political points, rather than pursue a substantive strategy to counter Iran's nuclear ambitions." 

Further, the senators argued there is "no immediate" need to do this since the initial deadline for a deal framework is March 24, and a final deal is not expected until June. "We will only vote for this bill after it has gone through the regular [process] ... and after the March 24th deadline for the political framework agreement," they wrote. 

The objections could strike a blow to McConnell's plans. While Republicans hold the majority in the Senate, they need at least six Democrats to advance the measure.   

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, of Nevada, is also objecting, telling The Associated Press he wants the Senate to wait. 

He accused McConnell of "hijacking" the legislation, which was written by Menendez and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn. 

Republicans continue to tout the bill, and say it ultimately will be approved. 

"I'm highly confident that a bipartisan supermajority in the Congress will insist that any deal with Iran come before the Congress to be debated and voted on," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told Fox News. "I don't trust Barack Obama or John Kerry to do a good deal. I want to look at it." 

The legislation specifically would require the president to submit the text of a deal to Congress and refrain from suspending congressional sanctions for two months; Congress could then approve or disapprove of the deal. 

Obama has threatened to veto the legislation, and has urged all sides to wait until a deal actually has been produced. 

Tensions are running high on Capitol Hill over the issue, in the wake of Netanyahu's impassioned address on Tuesday to Congress. He called the agreement in the works a "very bad deal," claiming it would only restrict Iran's nuclear program for a decade and would not adequately dismantle nuclear facilities. 

Obama criticized Netanyahu after the speech, saying he didn't offer any "viable alternatives" to curb Iran's nuclear program.

The U.S. Supreme Court justices appeared sharply divided Wednesday over President Barack Obama's controversial healthcare law. The sticking point: tax subsidies.

Attorneys on both sides were grilled by the justices in this latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act.

Some believe a ruling against the administration could mean the beginning of the end for Obamacare. Four words could doom the entire 2,000-page law on a technicality: "Established by the state."

Opponents say the law required individual states to create their own health care exchanges. But since 34 states chose to not do that, the Obama administration created a national healthcare exchange.

If the court decides that violates the law, 5 million to 7 million Americans might not be eligible to receive subsidies from the federal government to buy health insurance.

"If the court were to rule that the administration's interpretation was wrong, then there would be 34 states where people would no longer be able to get these tax credits for buying coverage on the exchange," Ed Haislmaeir, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, explained.

If those subsidies go away, experts say only the sickest people would participate in the exchanges and premium rates would skyrocket, sending Obamacare into a death spiral.

Lawyers for the government will argue against a literal interpretation of the law, saying the intent is clearly to help people in all 50 states get affordable health care coverage.

"There's breast cancer in my family, so for me it was very important to get the Affordable Care so that I could go and get all my preventive care," said Alicia Elatassi, who's enrolled in Texas.

After narrowly surviving a constitutional challenge in 2012, the fate of Obamacare is once again in the hands of nine justices. Some Republicans say either way they will keep working to repeal the law.

"It's bad for patients, bad for the providers, the nurses and doctors who take care of them and terrible for taxpayers," Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., told NBC's "Meet the Press."

"This is just one more example of a law that has all sorts of unintended consequences and adverse effects for all sorts of people," Haislmaier said.

The Supreme Court's decision is expected to come down in June.

A key Supreme Court swing justice warned Wednesday that a case challenging billions of dollars' worth of ObamaCare subsidies could have a huge impact on the health market. 

Arguments wrapped up late Wednesday morning in the high-profile challenge to the Affordable Care Act. 

According to Reuters, justices appeared divided along ideological lines. 

The justices met Wednesday to determine whether the law makes people in all 50 states eligible for federal tax subsidies -- or just those who live in states that created their own health insurance marketplaces. 

This question matters because roughly three dozen states opted against their own marketplace, or exchange, and instead rely on the U.S. Health and Human Services Department's Healthcare.gov. If the court rules against the Obama administration, insurance subsidies for people in those states would be in jeopardy. 

Justice Anthony Kennedy, often seen as a swing vote, reportedly said that throwing out the subsidies would cause a "death spiral." He also suggested that the plaintiffs' argument raises a "serious" constitutional problem affecting the relationship between states and the federal government. 

At the same time, Reuters reports that Kennedy said the lawyer for ObamaCare challengers could win anyway based on the reading of the law. 

Supreme Court justices, particularly on the liberal side of the bench, peppered opponents of Obama's health care law with skeptical questions during oral arguments. 

Independent studies estimate that 8 million people could lose insurance coverage if the subsidies were to be struck down.    

This could have dramatic consequences on the new health care system, and put pressure on Washington to respond. Obama administration officials have suggested they have no alternative plan if the subsidies are struck down, while some Republican lawmakers have begun crafting their own alternatives, just in case. 

One option would be to provide financial assistance for families that have already picked coverage, while a longer-term "fix" is crafted. 

A recent analysis by the health care firm Avalere found that, if the court, rules against the administration, those who would lose their subsidies as a result would see premiums increase an average 225 percent. 

The new case, part of a long-running political and legal fight to get rid of the law, focuses on four words -- "established by the state" -- in a law that runs more than 900 pages. The challengers say those words are clear and conclusive evidence that Congress wanted to limit subsidies only to those consumers who get their insurance through a marketplace, or exchange, that was "established by the state." 

Both sides in the case argue that the law unambiguously supports only its position. 

The administration says the law was written to dramatically reduce the ranks of uninsured, and that it would make no sense to condition subsidies on where people live. The phrase "established by the state," is what the administration calls a "term of art" that takes both state- and federally run exchanges. 

Of the judges who have ruled on lawsuits over the subsidies, Democratic appointees have sided with the administration and Republican appointees have been with the challengers. 

The last time such a fundamental ObamaCare matter was before the court, in 2012, Chief Justice John Roberts was the only justice to essentially cross party lines with his vote in 2012. His fellow conservatives on the court voted to strike down ObamaCare in its entirety. 

The lawyers arguing the case Wednesday also squared off three years ago. Michael Carvin argued part of the broad challenge to the health care law in 2012. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr., the administration's chief Supreme Court lawyer, successfully defended it. 

A decision in King v. Burwell, 14-114, is expected by late June.

Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, placed his reputation and political career on the line to warn the U.S. Congress of the dangers of a nuclear Iran. His historic speech on March 3rd just happened to take place one day before the start of the Jewish holiday of Purim. The meaning of this was clear to many Christians and Jews, that history had come full circle, and Netanyahu stood as an Esther, pleading with the leaders of the United States to stop this evil Haman, in ancient Persia, and his plans to annihilate Israel.

The Jewish people have at various times faced threats so serious they were considered “existential”—a threat to their very existence. For example, the Jews of Europe are now questioning their future on the continent due to rising anti-Semitism, and many scholars are proclaiming there is no future for Jews there anymore.They are now joining a long list of persecuted Jewish communities who, over the last 150 years, have been forced to abandon centuries of historic ties in other lands, and return to their ancient homeland where they could at least defend themselves and secure their own future. As a result, the largest Jewish community in the world now resides in Israel, but faces a very serious existential threat of its own from Iran.

Modern day Hamans in Iran—ancient Persia-- are devising an evil plot to annihilate Israel while building the nuclear and conventional weapons capable of doing so. One cannot help but see the eerie parallels between this current situation and the story in the book of Esther, in which the largest Jewish community of her time was also under a threat of annihilation.

As Jews around the world are reading the book of Esther this month, and celebrating the miraculous Purim story, it is a good time to apply some key elements of the story to our day.

The Seriousness of the Plot

There have been a number of Hamans throughout history who have threatened and even attempted the annihilation of the Jewish people. One would have to concede that Adolf Hitler was a perfect example of a modern Haman.

The seriousness of the threat in the book of Esther was amplified by the fact that the bulk of the Jews of that day lived in the Persian Empire. If Haman had succeeded in killing the Jews of Persia, it would have ended the existence of the Jewish people altogether. There would have been no one to later return and rebuild Jerusalem such as we read about in the book of Nehemiah. There would have been no Jewish people left to birth the Messiah, Jesus, who came in fulfillment of God’s promises to their fathers. God’s plan would have failed and it would have been all over. For this reason, we should all be celebrating the miraculous deliverance of the Jews of Persia along with our Jewish friends during Purim this month.The fact that today’s Haman is found in the very same geographic location as the first one – ancient Persia—does give one pause. History seems to have come full circle and that in itself should have our full attention. 

Esther

God is never mentioned in the book of Esther, yet His hand can be seen busy at work in many elements of the story. Most notably is the way He used the courageous Jewish girl, Hadassah, who became Queen Esther. She risked her life to go before the King and uncover the plot of Haman, a man who was so powerful the people of Persia had to bow down to him and pay homage. She knew that if her plan failed, it would not only mean her death, but that of her people.

However, the King accepted her request for an audience, and granted her anything she asked. Esther was then faced with a grave dilemma: how to stop the execution of Haman’s plan. Haman had issued the royal decree, sealed with the King’s signet ring, that in all provinces of the Persian Empire, from India to Ethiopia, the Jews were to be killed on a specific day. The King’s royal decree was law and could not be rescinded.  

The Right of Self Defense

There was no changing the fact that the Jewish people were going to be attacked, so a new royal decree was issued giving them the right of self-defense. And that is how the Jewish people survived the plan of Haman. They fought back.

Today, the people of Israel have also been granted the right of self-defense when they established a state and were accepted into the United Nations in 1948. While Israel is pleading with the United States, and indeed the international community, to place enough pressure on Iran to make them give up their evil plan, it increasingly seems as if, once again, the Jewish people’s only recourse will be that of self-defense.

Calling all Mordecais

Esther was not the only heroin of the story; in fact, Mordecai was just as essential to God’s plan. It was Mordecai, a good loyal citizen, who uncovered a plot against the King and saved the empire. He seemed to be a man of intelligence who had discernment and his “ear to the ground.”

He wisely counseled his niece, Hadassah, not to reveal her Jewishness in the competition to be Queen. And it was Mordecai who alerted Queen Esther to Haman’s plan and pleaded with her not to consider her own life, but that of her people. At the end of the story, Mordecai was elevated to Haman’s previous position and given authority to use the King’s seal. It was Mordecai who issued the royal decree granting the right of self-defense to the Jews of Persia.

The people of Israel desperately need Mordecais and Esthers today who have discernment, strategy and are willing to speak up. Since the United States is a democracy, all citizens can be Mordecais and Esthers by contacting their elected representatives to make their voices known.

You have the opportunity today to speak up against a nuclear Iran by signing the “Not One Bomb For Iran” petition addressed to the White House and Congress. Make your voice known today!

Susan Michael is the US Director for the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem www.icejusa.org the petition is found at www.notonebombforIran.com

 

"He hit a grand slam with his strong, honest and forthright speech to the U.S. Congress and the American people," said international Christian broadcaster and journalist, Earl Cox.  "The Israeli people should be proud of their prime minister for being a man of courage and conviction who was willing to stand in the face of seemingly overwhelming opposition in order to defend and protect Israel and warn the free world about the very real dangers of a nuclear Iran - something other world leaders are unwilling or afraid to do."

In interviews today, one of which was with the Voice of Israel Radio in Jerusalem, Cox said that Netanyahu's speech was needed as a wake-up call to the bad deal America is willing to make with the rogue nation of Iran.  Cox said the consensus among many Americans is that the White House would rather the American people remain in the dark not knowing or understaning the ramifications of the current deal being proposed and what it would ultimately mean for Israel, America and the world.  "It seems Mr. Obama's White House is so hungry for a deal, even a bad deal, that they are sacrificing the future of the free world for a deal in the present," Cox said

In another interview today with Watchmen Broadcasting Television...

Cox said that Obama and others are trying to distance themselves from reality under the illusion that Iran will somehow change their present behavior of domination, conquest and terror.  "An educated public is the only defense against bad government and bad policies and it seems the White House would rather for the American people not to know or understand the propsed deal with Iran." "Already," said Cox, "the White House is scrambling to try to put a negative spin on Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech saying he offered no concrete plan when the fact of the matter is," Cox concluded, "the concrete plan Netanyahu delivered is to negotiate from a position of strength.

Reps. Black, Fortenberry, and Fleming Introduce Health Care Conscience Rights Act to Thwart Obama Administration’s Attack on Religious Freedom


On Thursday Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06), Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE-01), and Congressman John Fleming (R-LA-04) announced the reintroduction of H.R. 940, the Health Care Conscience Rights Act. The bill would protect Americans’ freedom of conscience and stop the Obama Administration’s attack on religious liberty. H.R. 940 offers full exemption from Obamacare’s Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate and ensures protections for individuals and healthcare entities that refuse to provide, pay for, or refer patients to abortion providers because of their deeply held beliefs.

The legislation would also specifically address the unlawful violation of religious freedom in California, where the state Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) issued a directive requiring that all insurance plans offered on the state exchange include coverage for abortions, including plans provided by churches, religious entities, and others with conscionable objections to such procedures. The Health Care Conscience Rights Act has the bipartisan support of 110 cosponsors... (READ MORE)

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Speaker Boehner: Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Address & America’s Bond With Israel

Next Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel will become the second foreign leader in history to address the U.S. Congress on three occasions.  The first was Churchill.

Ahead of the joint meeting, Speaker Boehner addressed recent comments made by Susan Rice, the president’s national security adviser. Take a look:

“The president’s national security adviser says it’s ‘destructive’ for the prime minister of Israel to address the United States Congress next week.  I couldn’t disagree more.  The American people and both parties in Congress have always stood with Israel.  Nothing – and no one – should get in the way of that"... (READ MORE)

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House Majority Leader McCarthy: House Votes to Strengthen College Savings Plans

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) spoke on the House floor today in favor of H.R. 529 to improve and expand education opportunity by strengthening 529 college savings accounts.

Excerpts of McCarthy’s remarks are below:

"You know, during his speech—the State of the Union Address—President Obama presented what he called ‘middle-class economics.’ It didn’t take long for people to realize that the President’s plan meant taxing the middle class to pay for bigger government and pipe-dream projects"... (READ MORE)

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Congressman Randy Forbes: Executive Action and the Rule of Law

The rule of power.  For much of human history, governments and their laws were based solely on who had the power.

The American experiment turned that notion on its head.  Rather than on the rule of power, our founders established the United States of America on the rule of law. It was a somewhat novel concept in practice, that those governed by the law were both subject to it and protected by it. Most exceptional, however, was the system of checks and balances the rule of law created – it separated the power.

Today we often think of the rule of law in terms of the court system, assessing how effective it is, whether judges are fulfilling their roles as charged, and whether the law is interpreted accurately. Indeed, the conversation about “restoring the rule of law” is partly about restoring courts to their constitutional role of protecting individual liberties. But its impact stretches far beyond that. At its core, the rule of law is about protecting a set of immutable rights that are anchored in our Constitution and birthed by concepts in the Declaration of Independence... (READ MORE)

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used a controversial speech before the U.S. Congress to appeal to President Obama to pull back on nuclear talks with Iran, warning the "bad deal" in the works "paves Iran's path to the bomb" and could lead to a "potential nuclear nightmare." 

The Israeli leader made his impassioned case Tuesday in a highly anticipated address in Washington. He claimed the potential deal would make two major concessions which would threaten the security of Israel and the region by retaining Iran's ability to start up a nuclear weapons program. 

"This is a bad deal. It's a very bad deal. We're better off without it," Netanyahu said. 

The Israeli leader spoke as part of a high-profile push to make his case against the pending deal. He said the agreement in the works makes two major concessions. First, it would leave in place a "vast nuclear infrastructure," since it wouldn't require nuclear facilities to be destroyed -- some centrifuges would be allowed to keep running, while others would merely be disconnected, he said. 

Second, Netanyahu said the restrictions would "automatically expire" in about a decade. 

"It's the blink of an eye in the life of a nation," Netanyahu said. 

The deal, he said, "doesn't block Iran's path to the bomb. It paves Iran's path to the bomb." He reminded the audience of Iran's deep history of funding terror and threatening Israel. 

Countering the argument that the alternative to this deal is war, Netanyahu argued that the alternative is actually a "much better deal" -- and suggested the U.S. has the leverage to achieve that. 

The address was the centerpiece of a controversial visit that has fueled diplomatic tensions between the Obama and Netanyahu administrations -- and political tensions on Capitol Hill. 

House Speaker John Boehner had invited the Israeli leader without involving Obama, which is considered a breach in protocol. Republican leaders defended the move, saying it's important for Netanyahu to explain the threats posed by Iran and his concerns with the current nuclear talks. 

But dozens of Democrats sat out the Israeli leader's speech. And Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice went so far in recent days as to call Netanyahu's speech "destructive" to U.S.-Israeli ties -- though administration officials have since toned down their characterization of his visit. 

In his opening remarks, Netanyahu said he regrets some have perceived his visit as political. "That was never my intention," he said. 

Despite the controversy, he received a standing ovation from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, and was interrupted roughly 40 times by applause. 

Meanwhile, he urged the U.S. not to "be fooled" by Iran's recent efforts to oppose the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, a group the U.S. also is fighting. Netanyahu said those groups are "competing for the crown of militant Islam." 

"When it comes to Iran and ISIS, the enemy of your enemy -- is your enemy," he said. 

He also blasted the terms of the potential nuclear deal. He said Iran is notorious for playing a game of "hide and cheat" with inspectors. 

Both the Obama and Netanyahu administrations, as a matter of policy, agree that Iran must not be able to obtain a nuclear weapon. But the Israeli leader has concerns that the framework of the current diplomatic talks could lead to an ineffective deal. 

Obama, speaking in an interview Monday night with Reuters on the eve of Netanyahu's speech to Congress, acknowledged the shared goal, then added Netanyahu "thinks that the best way to do that is either through doubling down on more sanctions or through military action, ensuring that Iran has absolutely no enrichment capabilities whatsoever." 

He added, "there's no good reason for us not to let the negotiations play themselves out." 

Obama has no plans to meet with the prime minister -- though the White House insists this is out of a desire not to appear to be influencing upcoming Israeli elections. 

Netanyahu considers unacceptable any deal that does not entirely end Iran's nuclear program. But Obama is willing to leave some nuclear activity intact, backed by safeguards that Iran is not trying to develop a weapon. Iran insists its program is solely for peaceful energy and medical research. 

The address comes as Congress also weighs legislation that would trigger more sanctions against Iran if a diplomatic deal fails. Obama opposes that bill.

For Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his trip to the U.S. is a "fateful, even historic, mission."

Netanyahu says he sees himself as an emissary for all Israelis and for the Jewish people. His mission, he believes, is to protect Israel and the Jewish people from the threat of a nuclear Iran.

"As prime minister of Israel, it is my obligation to see to the security of Israel; therefore, we strongly oppose the agreement being formulated with Iran and the major powers, which could endanger our [Notes:Israel's] very existence. In the face of this danger we must unite and also explain the dangers stemming from this agreement, to Israel, to the region and to the world," he said before boarding his flight.

Netanyahu arrived in Washington on Sunday evening ahead of his speeches at the pro-Israel lobby, AIPAC, and what has become a politically controversial address to Congress Tuesday on Iran.

Democrat lawmakers reportedly plan to sit out Netanyahu's speech, calling it an affront to the president because it was allegedly set up without consulting the White House.

Netanyahu considers any deal with Iran that doesn't end its ability to produce nuclear weapons unacceptable -- a clear contrast to the diplomatic negotiations that President Barack Obama is spearheading to try to make a deal with Iran over that program.

And according to a Bethlehem-based news agency, a Kuwaiti newspaper reported Saturday that Obama prevented an Israeli military attack on Iran's nuclear facilities in 2014 by threatening to shoot down Israeli jets before they could reach their targets.
 
Meanwhile, Secretary of State John Kerry says the diplomatic nuclear deal with Iran will help ensure Israel's security.

"We want to recognize the main goal here is to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. And on that, Israel and the United States agree. And the testimony, in fact, to the efficiency with which we've been able to pursue that is the interim agreement that is in place today. Israel is safer today because of the interim agreement that we created," Kerry stated.

U.S. and Iranian officials reported progress in the latest talks on a deal that would freeze Iran's nuclear program for 10 years but then allow it to slowly restart during the final years.

Netanyahu hopes to encourage U.S. lawmakers to question the administration's plan and delay the March 24 deadline for an agreement.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prepared Monday to make his case against a potential nuclear deal with Iran, in what was shaping up to be his most contentious visit to the U.S. in the course of his already frayed relationship with the Obama administration. 

Netanyahu kicks off his visit on Monday with an address to The American Israel Public Affairs Committee. His address to the pro-Israel lobby will be bracketed by speeches from two senior U.S. officials: U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power and National Security Adviser Susan Rice, who are likely to present a markedly different view of the Iran nuclear talks. 

The Israeli leader follows his AIPAC speech with an address to Congress on Tuesday -- a speech arranged at the invitation of House Speaker John Boehner, but without the involvement of President Obama. 

Some Democrats plan to boycott that speech, and the U.S. president has no plans to meet with the prime minister -- though the White House insists this is out of a desire not to appear to be influencing upcoming Israeli elections. On Sunday, Secretary of State John Kerry tried to calm tensions. He said in an interview with ABC's "This Week," before he arrived in Switzerland for talks with Iran's foreign minister, that Netanyahu was welcome to speak in the U.S. and that the administration did not want the event "turned into some great political football." 

But it appeared too late for that. With accusations flying on Capitol Hill, Netanyahu's visit has plunged the rocky Obama-Netanyahu relationship to perhaps its lowest point. 

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., told Fox News on Monday this is the "worst" he's ever seen the U.S.-Israel relationship. He claimed critics are acting "in such a hysterical fashion" because they're concerned Netanyahu will make a "compelling argument" against the pending Iran agreement. 

In Washington, Netanyahu has positioned himself squarely against the Obama administration on the issue of the Iran talks. The Israeli leader is expected to press his opposition to a diplomatic accommodation of Iran's program in his speech Tuesday to Congress. 

"We are not here to offend President Obama whom we respect very much," said a Netanyahu adviser, who was not authorized to be identified. "The prime minister is here to warn, in front of any stage possible, the dangers" of the agreement that may be taking shape. 

The adviser, who spoke shortly before the delegation touched down in Washington, said Israel was well aware of the details of the emerging nuclear deal and they included Western compromises that were dangerous for Israel. Still, he tried to lower tensions by saying that Israel "does not oppose every deal" and was merely doing its best to warn the U.S. of the risks entailed in the current one. 

The Obama administration apparently is concerned about the details Netanyahu might discuss. An Associated Press journalist traveling with Kerry in Geneva tweeted Monday that Kerry said the U.S. is concerned by reports that "selective details" of the talks may be revealed. 

Netanyahu considers unacceptable any deal that does not entirely end Iran's nuclear program. But Obama is willing to leave some nuclear activity intact, backed by safeguards that Iran is not trying to develop a weapon. Iran insists its program is solely for peaceful energy and medical research. 

The invitation to speak to Congress extended by Boehner, R-Ohio, and Netanyahu's acceptance have caused an uproar that has exposed tensions between Israel and the U.S., its most important ally. 

By consenting to speak, Netanyahu angered the White House, which was not consulted in advance, and Democrats, who were forced to choose between showing support for Israel and backing the president. 

"I will do everything in my ability to secure our future," Netanyahu said before flying to Washington. 

Boehner said Iran's nuclear ambitions were a threat well beyond the region. 

"We're not going to resolve this issue by sticking our heads in the sand," Boehner told CBS' "Face the Nation." 

He said Netanyahu "can talk about this threat, I believe, better than anyone.  And the United States Congress wants to hear from him, and so do the American people." 

Netanyahu's visit comes as Congress weighs legislation to trigger more sanctions against Iran if talks fail. Obama adamantly opposes that bill, but supporters could use Netanyahu's expected warnings to build their case for it. 

On Sunday, Kerry painted a more positive picture of continued close cooperation. He said the U.S.-Israeli security partnership was closer than at any point before, and noted the large investment of American money in the Jewish state's Iron Dome missile defense system. 

He said the U.S. government has "intervened on Israel's behalf in the last two years a couple of hundred" times in more than 75 forums "in order to protect Israel."

It appears the Department of Homeland Security will stay up and running at least for another three weeks.

Congress is poised to approve a temporary DHS funding bill Friday, even though it contains President Barack Obama's immigration policies that Republicans have vowed to repeal.

Republicans are set to pass the measure despite their objections because not passing it would cause the agency to shut down at midnight Friday.

At a time when terror threats are high, Republicans don't want to risk angering the American people by denying DHS funding.

A shut-down would mean tens of thousands of DHS employees would not report to work. However, 200,000 so-called "essential" DHS employees would still be required to report for duty, although they would not be paid until funding is approved.

The fight over DHS funding will resume in late March when the temporary funding bill expires.

Republicans don't want to fund DHS unless the president's provision to delay deportation of illegal immigrants is taken out of the measure to fund the department.