Obama's Iran Deal Now Looks Safe in Congress

Numbers just aren't there for the GOP to override a veto
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 27, 2015 1:34 PM CDT
Obama's Iran Deal Now Looks Safe in Congress
President Obama smiles after signing the three-month highway funding bill, Friday, July 31, 2015, in the Oval Office..   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The numbers are adding up for President Obama on Iran. It now appears that his nuclear deal—which he defended in a letter last week—will make it through Congress because it's "nearly mathematically impossible for GOP leaders to build a veto-proof majority in either the House or Senate," reports Politico. (That's despite a few high-level Democratic defections, including Chuck Schumer.) Now the key hope of the White House is that he won't have to wield a veto in the first place, and Democrats can make that happen with a filibuster on the Iran resolution. As a bonus, that would also see the debate wrap up before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to New York.

If Obama has to use his veto, that drags things out and gives Netanyahu an opportunity to try to rouse lawmakers to overturn it one final fight, further shaking the US-Israel alliance, says a former State Department official. For the filibuster, Obama needs the support of 41 Democrats in the Senate, notes Politico. So far 29 are with him—including Sen. Harry Reid, who announced his support on Sunday—two are against, and 15 are undecided. But whether it happens by veto or filibuster, the Iran deal looks like a go in the long run. For example, Republican Sen. Bob Corker appears to be admitting defeat, telling the Tennessean that he's shifting his focus to what happens after the deal is in place, and promising "very strong provisions." (More Iranian nuclear program stories.)

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