Maryland Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski announced Wednesday afternoon she will support the nuclear deal with Iran, giving President Barack Obama enough support to stop Congress from overriding a presidential veto of a Congressional rejection of the agreement.
The Maryland Democrat caved in even though she is retiring at the end of her current term.
No deal is perfect, especially one negotiated with the Iranian regime. I have concluded that this Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is the best option available to block Iran from having a nuclear bomb.”
Sen. Mikulski is retiring at the end of her current term and therefore would not pay a heavy political price if she had joined the majority on Congress who oppose the agreement
She is the 34th Democrat to side with President Obama, who still faces the embarrassment of having to veto a Congressional rejection of the nuclear deal.
He reportedly favors what he considers a less embarrassing alternative – a Democratic filibuster.
With enough votes locked up to allow a veto to stand, it remains to be seen if other Democratic senators will fall in line with the president. They can rationalize that opposing the agreement won’t help override a veto .
Congress will vote on the agreement by Sept, 17. The American obligations under the deal cannot take effect until Congress approves or President Obama vetoes a rejection.
All eyes are on Maryland’s other senator, Ben Cardin, who is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
He said yesterday he will announce “shortly” his position. He could face political punishment in the Senate if he votes against the agreement.
Cardin is a member of Baltimore’s largest modern Orthodox congregation, Beth Tfiloh, where more than 1,000 people rallied Tuesday against the agreement.