A spokesman for AIPAC said Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) will appear at the AIPAC gala on Monday night, but was not sure if he was going to speak. The AIPAC program distributed on Monday listed Kirk as a key speaker.
WASHINGTON--Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) is scheduled to be a keynote speaker Monday night at the AIPAC--American Israel Public Affairs Committee--giant conference here. This will be Kirk's first major speech since he has returned to the Senate following an absence of almost a year after suffering a stroke.
This morning, the main speakers are Vice President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu via satellite. Sen. John McCain (R-Az.) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) are featured in a foreign policy roundtable.
Also on the bill tonight with Kirk are House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) Kirk has long enjoyed a very close relationship with AIPAC and with Israeli government officials. Kirk has been taking a lead on legislation toughening sanctions on Iran so make sure the nation does not develop a nuclear capability that could be used against Israel.
The AIPAC conference comes a few weeks before President Barack Obama's trip to Israel, the West Bank and Jordan, the first international travel of his second term.