Washington (CNN) – House Speaker John Boehner turned down a request from Russian diplomats who hope to directly lobby the U.S. Congress and undercut President Barack Obama on Syria.
“The Speaker has declined the Russian embassy’s request that he meet with a delegation," said Boehner spokesman Michael Steel.
A spokesman for the Russian embassy in Washington told CNN Wednesday that diplomats sent an official request to congressional leaders to meet with them on Capitol Hill.
“We’re planning the visit,” an embassy spokesman told CNN. “We can’t tell you the exact time, but it will be next week.”
Still under discussion in Moscow: exactly who will be in the delegation.
The embassy spokesman said only wide parameters are firm right now, that it will be members of both the upper and lower chambers of the Russian parliament and that they intend to meet with senators and House members of both political parties.
Russia, a Syrian ally and major trading partner, is closely tied with the Assad government and leaders in Moscow have vocally opposed U.S. military intervention in the conflict.
It’s not clear how other congressional leaders besides Boehner will respond to the request, but the delegation could face a cool reception if they arrive on Capitol Hill.
“At this particular point, my understanding has been that relations between members of Congress and the Russian parliament have been very sour,” said Dick Lugar, former head of Senate Foreign Relations Committee and known for his work with Russian officials.
“I don’t think a delegation from Russia will make any difference in terms of congressional votes,” he added. “But at the same time there may be the possibility that dialogue could lead to other positive things.”
When told about the request, one House leadership aide was less embracing, sarcastically replying, “Good luck to ‘em!"
I say, give the Rebels all the high powered weapons they want. Then point them toward Damascus and let them loose.
One can only hope that the Congress will listen to the will of the American people.
Puttin I got some tube steak for you....
Congratulations to Speaker Boehner. He made the right decision. No foreign government should be permitted to lobby against the policies of the President and the administration.
This whole concept of legislature that can block a Presidential decision is going to be a great epiphany to the members of both the upper and lower chambers of the Russian parliament who have come here to lobby our Congressmen on this issue. While the concept of overriding the President is so common here in the US as part of Partisan politics, in Russia such a vote will land you in the gulag.
Never trust a russian person working for the russian government. Let the legislators decide for our people and our nation's best interest.
STOP IT. America is not the worlds police. Russia and China would be great allies for America. The GOP / Tea Party cannot go on hating different groups based on OLD ideology. Hear that they have to say. If you dot like it walk away. But at the very least it sends the message that America is not above a legitimate talk. This is a typical GOP/ Tea Party move still living in the 1950 and wanting to return to those day. Get over it GOP / Tea Party YOU CANT go back. Deal with what you have and make the best of it for the rest of the nation that does not have the money to sail off to some island with millions in tax payer dollars and live happily ever after. The GOP / Tea Party has alot in common with North Korea, McShame more so an any other.
Statesmanship and diplomacy....a lost art.
"House leadership aide was less embracing, sarcastically replying, “Good luck to ‘em!". They are just aide, what are they being sarcastic about.
The Russians don't even listen to their own people....why on god's earth would America expect them to listen to America????
Yet, will he vote WITH Russia and oppose the military strike on Syria?
I love the action of the House Leader, his truly a man!!
Bonehead doesn't want to expose the tea baggers to a situation involving a thought process. It might be embarrassing.
We'll talk with them, yes we will, when Russia gives us back the Precious.
Why kind of Government refuses a diplomatic meeting that could save countless lives? Most likely a warmongering Government that has already made its mind up regardless of the facts.
The Israel lobby got to the orange Weeper and the GOBP first. They are puppets on their strings.
The rethugs/teatrolls are up to something. They are planning on how to make the President and the Democrats look bad. Darn if you darn if you don't.
Congratulations Mr Boehner. You did the right thing.
Its ok to grant them audience, but I wonder why they decide to meet now, when they could have adviced Syria against the use of chemical weapon.
The U.S. government doesn't even listen to its own people, why should it listen to a Russian delegation?
He can't stay out of the bars long enough to do his day job, much less have time to meet with furriners.
What happened to the budget deficit? What happened to the underfunded Social Security Administration? Where are all the jobs we've discussed forever? And now, war number three. Again sold to the public as a limited engagement, with no military personnel placed in harms way. When, in the last forty years did we ever end violence with violence. Many people have given their lives (May God Bless Them All), yet little has changed. We don't need to be the peace keeper to the world.
Very disrespectful. He could have at least met with them out of respect.
It's really sad to say, but some of US Congress member hate Prez Obama so much, that they'll actually take bribes from the Russian Govt. Russia is the enemy. PERIOD.
This is diplomacy, Congressmen should to keep open doors for such talks. Without talks, is feud or war.