Fate of Iran Deal Rests on Congressional Democrats

Posted August 5, 2015 at 5:00am

“Congress is not scheduled to weigh in on the Iran agreement for at least six more weeks, but its fate lies in the hands of undecided lawmakers such as Coons who have assumed a meticulous, rigorous approach to making a decision,” writes The Washington Post . “And, uncomfortably for President Obama and his negotiating team, nearly all of them are Democrats.”  

“Their reviews of the accord could leave the outcome of a congressional vote uncertain for weeks, spanning the summer congressional recess when advocates on both sides are expected to pressure the undecided… In the House, 150 Democrats signed a letter last month supporting the concept of an Iran deal. If all were to vote in favor of the accord, it would be enough to sustain an Obama veto. But opponents think they will be able to pick off supporters as they publicize what they describe as weaknesses in the agreement — in particular, the lack of ‘anywhere, anytime’ inspections, the prospect of lifting a conventional arms embargo, and uncertainty about private agreements between international nuclear arms monitors and the Iranian regime.”  

“In the Senate, as in the House, there is little doubt that a majority opposes the deal. Of 54 Republican senators, only Jeff Flake (Ariz.) has signaled that he might support it. The more important calculation centers on whether at least 60 senators will oppose the accord. If not, it would spare Obama the necessity of a veto and the drama of a subsequent override vote. One Democratic senator, Robert Menendez (N.J.), has been critical of the negotiations and is expected to oppose the deal. A handful of other Democrats also have been critical, if less sharply so, and as many as a dozen senators have taken pains to remain undecided.”