US President Obama musters more Senate votes for peace, in favor of nuclear deal with Iran!
-Dr. Abdul Ruff
US President Barack Obama has secured 42 US Senate votes for the international nuclear deal with Iran, more than enough to keep Congress from passing a resolution disapproving of the pact., more than enough to block the Senate from passing a Republican-backed resolution to disapprove the deal and to ensure that the Iran nuclear deal will go into effect even as the US Congress returns on 09 September to begin a frenzied fall legislative session to debate the nuclear deal, which will include votes on the Iran deal before a Sept. 17 deadline.
Forty-two votes is one more than the minimum needed in the 100-member Senate to block a Republican-backed resolution of disapproval of the nuclear deal, announced on July 14. That would spare Obama the embarrassment of having to use his veto power to protect a deal reached with five other world powers, seen as a potential legacy foreign policy achievement for his administration.
Obama had been guaranteed enough votes to sustain a veto once he reached 34 “yes” votes in the Senate, but backers say avoiding the veto process would send an important message to Iran, and the world: Washington is unified behind it.
Democratic Senators Richard Blumenthal, Gary Peters, Ron Wyden and Maria Cantwell announced they would support the agreement, just as lawmakers returned to Washington from a month-long summer recess. The last hope of bipartisan Senate support was dashed when Senator Susan Collins, the chamber’s last undecided Republican, announced her opposition.
All of the senators supporting the deal are Democrats or independents who caucus with them. Every supporter in the House of Representatives is a Democrat. At least 17 House Democrats have also said they would vote with Republicans against it. Senator Joe Manchin became the fourth Senate Democrat voting against the deal.
As Obama’s support reached on 08th September 41 in the Senate in favor of the Iran nuclear agreement, enough to block the Senate from passing a Republican-backed resolution to disapprove the deal, opponents of the deal began criticizing Democrats for, as they say, preventing an up-or-down vote on the deal by blocking its forward motion.
Republicans are trying to turn the vote for nuclear deal into anti-Iran vote. But Democrats gave President Barack Obama the votes he needs to prevent the Senate from passing a measure disapproving of the Iran nuclear deal. Reaching the threshold to filibuster means the President likely won’t need to veto the measure, even though opposition to the Iran deal enjoys majority support in the House and Senate. Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Michigan Sen. Gary Peters and Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden all announced in rapid fire succession they would support the deal, putting Obama at 41 votes of support in the Senate.
That would leave Republicans short of the 60 votes needed to force a Senate vote, unless some members who support the Iran deal argue that the chamber should have a chance to vote on it. The legislation permitting an up-or-down vote was agreed to by Obama after weeks of bipartisan pressure for Congress to have a say. The Senate would need 60 votes to advance a measure rejecting the deal for a floor vote. If all 41 Democrats who support the deal vote to filibuster, it would not reach a final vote in the Senate. Not all have pledged to do so, though they have pledged to vote with the President on the deal otherwise.
Senators Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Gary Peters of Michigan and Ron Wyden of Oregon said they will support the deal. The three new Democrats’ support came as another member of the party announced his opposition to the Iran deal. West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin made a total of four Democrats who have come out against the deal. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia said he opposes the agreement. The other Senate Democrats opposing the deal are Chuck Schumer of New York, Ben Cardin of Maryland and Bob Menendez of New Jersey. Only one, Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell, remains undecided.
A few senators said they would “reluctantly” vote against a motion of disapproval because I believe that doing so will protect the credibility of the United States to hold Iran accountable to adhere to every single obligation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
Many pro-deal senators believe that many overlapping provisions will make it exceedingly difficult for the Iranians to build a nuclear weapon in the short term and will lengthen the time required should they choose to break their commitments and try to build one in the future. “While this is not the agreement I would have accepted at the negotiating table, it is better than no deal at all,” Blumenthal said.
Both camps have been increasing their lobbying efforts on the deal. Republican presidential candidates including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and real estate mogul Donald Trump will headline an anti-Iran deal rally on Capitol Hill. And former Vice President Dick Cheney delivered a fiery speech against the deal, calling it “madness”. Opponents also circulated a letter from 15 governors voicing their opposition to the deal and pledging to keep state-level sanctions on Iran in place. All four of the current governors running for president signed, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. India wants Jindal an Indian to be the next US president.
It seems there is no precedent in recent history for an issue of this magnitude getting consideration in the Senate without having to secure 60 votes. The deal would ease economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for curbs on the country’s nuclear program. Obama has lobbied hard for Democratic support and has made pitches to US Jewish leaders to counter opposition to the deal by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said he will insist that 60 Senate votes are required to pass a resolution of disapproval.
Obama’s 41 votes will ultimately protect the Iran deal, seven more than needed to uphold his veto of any measure of disapproval passed by Congress. The 435-seat House has more than the 218 votes needed to pass a resolution of disapproval in that chamber. At least 230 Republicans and 15 Democrats are opposed to the deal. At least 105 of the chamber’s Democrats support the agreement, while the rest have yet to announce their position.
Democratic front-runner and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will deliver her own speech on the Iran deal, where she’s expected to unequivocally supporting it. US Congress could still oppose the deal, but Obama has now enough votes to override any resolution of disapproval. He has said the deal cuts off every pathway to a nuclear weapon for Iran. Republicans like Israelis have been unified in their opposition to the Iran accord, saying the deal would only “embolden” Iran.
Like Israel, the republicans are annoyed and disappointed that their dream of a war with Iran has been short lived.
However, it was not just USA or Iran that won the deal but active and pro-active diplomacy did the magic for humanity which is seeking peace in West Asia baldy.
One fails to know as to why Israel is so deadly interested in defeating the Obama deal with Iran, causing damages to US diplomacy and Obama’s efforts for peace in West Asia.
However, that does not matter at all!