Updated 1:22 p.m. | The White House added a 38th Senate Democratic backer of the Iran deal Friday — even as it lost the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee.
The support of Michael Bennet of Colorado brings the deal potentially within three votes of being filibustered in the Senate, and the new opposition by ranking Foreign Relations Democrat Benjamin L. Cardin of Maryland stems what had been total momentum in favor of the deal. According to the Denver Post, Sen. Michael Bennet plans to announce his support for the deal, along with an additional plan to "strengthen the deal while steering more money to Israel for its national defense."
"Our primary objectives are to prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapon, make sure Israel is safe and, if possible, avoid another war in the Middle East," said Bennet in a statement released first to The Denver Post. "This agreement represents a flawed, but important step to accomplish those goals."
Bennet's support had immediate repercussions for his reelection race next year .
Cardin meanwhile announced he will oppose the Iran deal in an op-ed in The Washington Post. Cardin is just the third Democrat to come out against the deal.
Cardin and Bennet also are looking ahead to passing a new bill aimed at toughening sanctions on Iran if they step up their support for terrorism.
The Democratic senators who have yet to announce their position on the Iran deal are Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Maria Cantwell of Washington, Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, Gary Peters of Michigan and Ron Wyden of Oregon.
Manchin, however, said yesterday he would not filibuster a disapproval resolution although he hasn't decided how he'll vote on the deal itself.
Republican Susan Collins of Maine also hasn’t announced a position.
The success of the deal is already a foregone conclusion because the White House has more than enough support to sustain a veto of the disapproval resolution.
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