Many hard-core Israel supporters thought all hopes of preventing a bad Iran deal was lost when powerful New York Senator Chuck Schumer (D) recently learned he would soon attain a long-coveted starring role in Washington, D.C.
With long-time wheeler-dealer Nevada Senator and minority leader Harry Reid’s announcement that he would retire in 2016, Schumer is the one who will step into that coveted role.
And with the center of power so close within reach, few thought Schumer would risk bucking the White House on the Iran “deal” it is desperate to make.
Schumer’s support is considered essential for an override of President Obama’s promised veto of proposed legislation to insert Congress into the review process of any nuclear power deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Such review is embodied in what is known as the Corker bill after its sponsor, Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Under the Corker bill, Congress would have 60 days to review any final agreement with Iran before U.S. sanctions could be lifted.
When Schumer co-sponsored the legislation a few weeks ago, informed spectators lashed out at those who cheered the senior New York senator, pointing out that being a bill’s co-sponsor was not money in the bank either for the senator’s vote on the bill’s passage or, more importantly, for a Schumer vote to override the president’s veto.
However, on Monday, April 6, Schumer finally came out publicly with a strong endorsement of the Corker bill.
“This is a very serious issue that deserves careful consideration, and I expect to have a classified briefing in the near future,” Schumer wrote in an email to the Politico website.
“I strongly believe Congress should have the right to disapprove any agreement and I support the Corker bill which would allow that to occur,” Schumer said.
Schumer’s strong statement declaring his support for Congressional review of an Iran agreement was released after the contours of the proposed framework began circulating last week.
Given Schumer’s stature and his presumptive central leadership role in the future, it is believed the number of legislators required for an override of the president’s veto will be attainable.
Congressional role in the Iran nuclear weapons agreement signals an early failure for at least one aspect of the administration’s hoped-for deal with Iran.Lori Lowenthal Marcus