Democratic US Senator Chuck Schumer is opposing the nuclear deal with Iran. The Huffington Post reported his intention to oppose the deal on Thursday. Shortly after that report was published, Schumer confirmed his opposition in a Medium post.
A pro-Israel lawmaker who is a high-ranking Senate Democrat, Schumer is considered pivotal to the Iran deal’s future.
Congress may end up voting against President Barack Obama’s landmark nuclear deal with Iran by passing a resolution of disapproval, putting the legislative branch on record as opposing perhaps the biggest foreign-policy initiative of Obama’s presidency.
In the Medium post, Schumer stated that he would vote for the disapproval measure. He included a lengthy justification for opposing the agreement, casting doubt on whether the accord would actually prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. He also came out against aspects of the deal that don’t pertain to limitations on the nuclear program, such as the lifting of sanctions on Iranian individuals and entities and the removal of arms and ballistic missile restrictions: “When it comes to the non-nuclear aspects of the deal, I think there is a strong case that we are better off without an agreement than with one.”
But chances remain very low that deal opponents will be able to muster the votes needed to override a presidential veto, which would be likely in the event of a resolution of disapproval.
Opponents need support of two-thirds of both the House of Representatives and the Senate in order to override that potential veto and prevent the president from suspending US sanctions against Iran, something that would almost certainly scuttle the nuclear agreement signed last month.
It’s unlikely they can get to that point. Assuming every Senate Republican other than potential agreement supporter Jeff Flake votes against the deal, opponents will still need to recruit 13 Senate Democrats to their position.
Schumer did not state in the Medium post whether he would vote to override a presidential veto of a resolution of disapproval.
His colleague from New York, US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, announced her support for the deal on Thursday.
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