House Speaker John Boehner plans to travel to Israel at the end of the month, close on the heels of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's re-election and the Israeli leader's controversial address to Congress.
Although there are no details on who he might meet in Israel, Boehner "looks forward to visiting the country, discussing our shared priorities for peace and security in the region, and further strengthening the bond between the United States and Israel," his spokesman, Kevin Smith, said in a statement.
As The Associated Press notes: "On the surface, the Republican leader's announcement Friday that he'll visit Israel looks like a jab at the White House."
However, a congressional aide who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity insisted the visit was planned before Netanyahu's speech to a joint meeting of Congress, which criticized White House policy on Iran and broke protocol by not first getting the traditional nod from the president.
Boehner is expected to go to Israel during a two-week congressional recess that begins on March 30.