Iran Deal Supporters Keep Rolling In [Updated]

By
AUSTRIA-IRAN-EU-US-CHINA-NUCLEAR-POLITICS
Photo: JOE KLAMAR

Lawmakers head back to the Capitol today after a monthlong recess, and a few senators decided to celebrate by giving President Obama a big present. Democratic senators Ron Wyden, Richard Blumenthal, Gary Peters, and Maria Cantwell all announced that they support the Iran deal on Tuesday, which means the White House can be even more certain that Congress would be unable to override any veto of an anti-Iran-deal resolution. Forty-two senators now support the Iran deal.

Today there can be little dispute that Iran is the world’s leading state-sponsor of terrorism,” Wyden wrote in a statement announcing his support, making clear how complex and difficult his final decision was and echoing the careful explanations of his colleagues.

>

I do not discount Tehran’s decades of deceit and I do not believe this or any other agreement is likely to change the fundamental character of this odious regime. Nor do I dismiss as mere rhetoric the statements made by Iranian leaders about Americans and Israelis. As somebody who lost family in Theresienstadt, I agree that when people express a desire to harm you, the safe bet is to take them at face value. The ayatollahs of Iran must never be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon. … This vote will hardly be the end of the Senate’s consideration of Iranian malfeasance and responding to the ongoing threats posed by Iran’s leaders will require people to move on after this debate and come together again with common purpose. With that in mind, I will vote to support the agreement.

There are even enough votes to prevent a vote on a resolution disapproving of the nuclear agreement from ever being passed — although it is not clear that the deal’s supporters are willing to enrage its opponents with a filibuster. Others say the agreement is such a big deal that it deserves a vote. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell unsurprisingly says that he thinks Democrats should avoid a filibuster. “The Senate should not hide behind procedural obfuscation to shield the president or our individual views,” he said on Tuesday.

The vote on the Iran deal resolution must take place by September 17.

Obama has only vetoed legislation four times during his presidency. The last president to veto fewer than four bills was James Garfield, who was only president for a few months. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said today that Democrats should “take necessary steps to prevent Congress from undermining the agreement.”

There are even enough votes to prevent a vote on a resolution disapproving of the nuclear agreement from ever being passed — although it is not clear that the deal’s supporters are willing to enrage its opponents with a filibuster. Others say the agreement is such a big deal that it deserves a vote. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell unsurprisingly says that he thinks Democrats should avoid a filibuster. “The Senate should not hide behind procedural obfuscation to shield the president or our individual views,” he said on Tuesday.

The vote on the Iran deal resolution must take place by September 17.

Obama has only vetoed legislation four times during his presidency. The last president to veto fewer than four bills was James Garfield, who was only president for a few months. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said today that Democrats should “take necessary steps to prevent Congress from undermining the agreement.”

An additional “no” vote was added to the tally today, too — West Virginia senator Joe Manchin became the fourth Democrat to announce his opposition to the deal. Senators Ben Cardin, Bob Menendez, and Chuck Schumer also oppose the deal. “I could not ignore the fact that Iran, the country that will benefit most from sanctions being lifted, refuses to change its 36-year history of sponsoring terrorism,” Manchin said in a statement. “For me, this deal had to be about more than preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon for the next 10-15 years.”

Republican Susan Collins, the last senator to announce an opinion on the deal, said she opposed it this afternoon.

Although the Iran deal ends today in an even safer position than it was in a week ago, the agreement’s opponents have made it clear that they intend to keep protesting it for the next few weeks, if not until the end of time.

On Wednesday, Senator Ted Cruz and Donald Trump will gather with Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and many tea-party activists on the steps of the Capitol to rally against the deal. After protesting the Iran deal, Cruz will prepare for another legislative fight — this time a government-shutdown threat over Planned Parenthood funding. After the 2013 government shutdown, the GOP’s favorability rating sank to a new low of 32 percent, according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll; however, the move did make Cruz popular among the voters he’d need to win back from Donald Trump and Ben Carson if he wants to do well in the primary. 

Former vice-president Dick Cheney said on Tuesday morning — shortly before three senators further ensured the Iran deal’s future success — that the agreement was “madness” and that it “will give Iran the means to launch a nuclear attack on the U.S. homeland.” 

Iran Deal Supporters Keep Rolling In