The recently signed nuclear deal with Iran has gained enough Senate support to stay alive in Congress.
Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland gave the vital 34th vote, granting Obama a veto should Congress vote against the deal later this month. The deal is unanimously opposed by Republicans, and Congress is expected to reject the deal as a set of worrying concessions to Iran, according to AP.
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Senate support will uphold Obama’s veto in face of Congressional resolution
If Congress passes a resolution rejecting the deal, Obama would need 34 votes to uphold his veto. With Mikulski on board, the president now has enough Senators backing the deal.
Mikulski released a statement declaring her support for the deal, calling it “the best option available to block Iran from having a nuclear bomb.” She provided the vital vote after Tuesday’s announcements from Senators Chris Coons of Delaware and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania left Obama in need of one more vote in the 100-member Senate.
The deal was signed with Iran by the U.S. and 5 other world powers, and concerns the lifting of economic sanctions in return for scaling back Tehran’s nuclear program. After the agreement was initially signed in July, Obama engaged in a concerted period of lobbying to garner support for the deal.
Ten Senators have not yet declared their position
He pitched his ideas to U.S. Jewish leaders in order to counterbalance opposition to the deal from Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel. So far two Senate Democrats, Charles Schumer of New York and Robert Menendez of New Jersey, have announced their opposition to the deal, which is unanimously opposed by Republicans.
Ten more Senators are yet to announce their position. Obama needs 41 votes in favor in order to block the Senate from voting on the deal. Coons believes it will be “a very close call” whether the remaining Senate Democrats can allow Obama to reach that number.
Congress must pass a resolution rejecting the deal by the end of September 17. Now that Obama looks set to count on his veto, Republicans need a two-thirds vote in the House and Senate to override the president.
Democrats Ben Cardin of Maryland and Cory Booker of New Jersey have not yet disclosed their intentions. Susan Collins of Maine is the only undecided Republican.