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Reid Dismisses 'Longshot' Prospects for Iran Deal Filibuster

Reid is increasingly bullish about protecting the Iran deal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid told reporters gathered in Las Vegas that filibustering a bill to disapprove of the nuclear deal with Iran would be a "longshot."  

Still, the Nevada Democrat has far from given up hope on rounding up not only the 34 votes needed to sustain a veto from President Barack Obama, but the 41 needed to thwart the GOP-led Senate from getting the disapproval legislation through the chamber at all.  

"As far as procedurally stopping this bill from moving forward, I am not giving up hope on that," Reid said. "I know it's a longshot, but I hope that it can be done. We'll just have to see because right now ... we still have a lot of uncounted votes."  

"As I said yesterday, the deal with Iran is good for America, it's good for Israel, it's good for the country," said Reid, who announced his own support for the deal on Sunday . "The purpose of the deal is to stop Iran from having a nuclear weapon, and that — the agreement will accomplish that."  

Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan became the 28th Democratic Conference member to formally support the agreement in a lengthy statement issued Monday.  

"I have had extensive classified and unclassified briefings, extensive discussions with our U.S. negotiators and leaders from every country involved in negotiating this agreement. I have met with leaders representing the current Israeli government as well as former military and civilian Israeli leaders. And, I have heard from so many people in Michigan, with passionate feelings on both sides of this critical issue," Stabenow said. "For me, the decision comes down to this: without this international agreement, Iran will have enough nuclear material for a weapon in three months. With this agreement, and the international coalition committed to it, we have the opportunity to stop Iran from ever getting a nuclear weapon, certainly for at least 25 years."  

After Stabenow came forward, Reid sounded more optimistic than he was even one day ago about the prospects of protecting the international agreement from being upended by Congress.  

"I said that I felt cautiously optimistic that we would have enough votes to sustain the president's veto, and that seems pretty clear to me, but we will see. Sen. Stabenow came out today in support of that. I expect another couple votes in the next days," Reid said.

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