Republican senators may have a veto-proof majority from Democrats backing a bill that would require President Barack Obama to submit any deal with Iran to Congressional review, Politico reported.
Almost all 54 Republican senators are on board as are more than 12 Democrats, which comes out to more than the two-thirds majority that is needed to override a presidential veto.
It is not clear if the Democrats supporting the bill would go so far as to vote against a veto by Obama, but a two-thirds majority would make it very difficult for him to exercise his veto power over a law giving Congress 60 days to review a deal.
The Democrats were offended by the “open letter to the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran”” initiated by Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton and which warned Iran that Congress might be able to challenge an agreement between President Obama and Iran.
The White House and the other P5+1 powers reportedly are considering going through the U.N. Security Council to lift sanctions, which would raise a question in international law concerning Congress’ power to decide to re-impose sanctions.
The legalities may not matter because it is doubtful if Obama would be willing to act against such a large majority in the Congress.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has said there is chance that a deal could be struck with Iran as early as this week,” but his constant optimism has to be taken with a few grains of uranium.
The open letter damaged relations with Democratic senators, but Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, who did not sign the open letter, said:
Let a couple days go by. We think there’s going to be really ignited momentum. Nobody’s dropping out. We’ve had reaffirmed commitment [from Democrats.]”
The White House is trying to convince Sen. Corker to hold off on the bill and let the administration try to reach an agreement with Iran, but that night not happen until June even if a framework agreement is signed this month.
Even several Democrats are not willing to wait.
Florida Sen. Bill Nelson told Politico that he still would back the bill demanding Congressional approvals for a deal even though “this is a sad day in America when people are trying to kill negotiations that are underway.”
Another bill, proposed by Illinois Republican Mark Kirk, would put into law that sanctions will be slapped against Iran if Congress doubts the Islamic Republic’s commitment to reach a deal or stand by its promises.
According to Kirk, there are enough Democrats behind him to give the bill more than a two-thirds majority.