Opponents to the agreement with Iran are lacking approximately nine Democratic senators to override a Presidential veto of its rejection, but the truth that is an opposition victory might have limited meaning.
Congress cannot strike down the agreement, which was made along with five other Western powers. All it can do is block President Obama’s agreement to lift U.S. sanctions.
Doing so would be very significant, both politically for President Obama and the Democratic party as well as for American’s relations with the other P5+1 countries and Iran.
There are seven undecided Democratic senators, according to a tally by the Washington Post’s Amber Phillips.
If all of them turn against President Obama, it will be easier to convince a couple of others whose positions are not yet known.
The seven undecided Democrats, acceding to Phillips, are:
Michael Bennet of Colorado;
Ben Cardin of Maryland;
Bob Casey of Pennsylvania;
Joe Donnelly of Indiana;
Tim Kaine of Virginia;
Bill Nelson of Pennsylvania;
and Mark Warner of Virginia.
Cardin is one of the most important of the undecided. He attends Baltimore’s largest and wealthiest modern Orthodox Beth Tfiloh Congregation, which is highly pro-Israel.
He told NPR this week:
Israel’s security issues are of major concern. We don’t want to see an arms race in the Middle East, so it is a factor. And it’s a factor that I’m sure we will carefully consider.
Earlier in the week, Cardin told Bloomberg:
There is no trust when it comes to Iran. In our deliberations we need to ensure the negotiations resulted in a comprehensive, long-lasting, and verifiable outcome that also provides for snap-back of sanctions should Iran deviate from its commitments.
The nine Democratic Senators whose positions are not known are:
Cory Booker of New Jersey;
Maria Cantwell of Washington;
Claire McCaskill of Missouri;
Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota’
Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota;
Barbara Mikulski of Maryland;
Sen. Patty Murray of Washington;
Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan; and
Sen. Jon Tester of Montana.
One of the most pivotal of the “unknowns” is McCaskill. She stated this week:
Preventing Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon is paramount to our national security, and if this agreement accomplishes that goal, it will make the world a safer place for America and our allies. I plan to spend the coming weeks taking a hard look at the agreement’s details to ensure that it will result in a verifiable way to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran.”
Phillip’s tally shows 43 senators “leaning” to vote against ObamaDeal, including New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, and only 26 are in favor or are leaning in favor.