Obama secures key vote to protect Iran nuclear deal in US Congress – Reuters
President Barack Obama on Wednesday secured the 34th Senate vote needed to sustain a veto of any congressional resolution disapproving a nuclear deal with Iran, ensuring the accord will not fail in the U.S. Congress. Democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski announced her support for the agreement, becoming the 32nd Senate Democrat, along with two independents, to back a pact announced on July 14, which exchanges sanctions relief for Iran for Tehran’s agreeing to curtail its nuclear program. The move means Obama’s fellow Democrats will have enough votes to protect the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers in the U.S. Congress. Their next goal is to see if they can gather at least 41 votes in the Senate to use the filibuster procedural rule to block a disapproval resolution in the Senate and keep Obama from having to use his veto power.”No deal is perfect, especially one negotiated with the Iranian regime. I have concluded that this Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is the best option available to block Iran from having a nuclear bomb,” Mikulski said in a statement.”For these reasons, I will vote in favor of this deal.”Secretary of State John Kerry gave a speech about the deal in Philadelphia on Wednesday, arguing that its benefits outweigh any drawbacks.U.S. lawmakers have until Sept. 17 to vote on a “resolution of disapproval,” which would weaken the international pact by eliminating Obama’s ability to temporarily waive many U.S. sanctions on Iran.The Senate and House of Representatives are expected to take up the issue as soon as they return to Washington on Sept. 8 after their August recess.With Republicans virtually united in opposition, Democrats have spent the summer rallying support for an agreement seen as a potential legacy foreign policy achievement for the president.
Deal supporters’ first goal was to muster enough votes in the Senate or House to sustain Obama’s veto of a disapproval resolution. Senate leadership aides on both sides of the issue said it was still too early to say whether supporters would be able to secure the next target of 41 votes.Republicans hold majorities in both the House and Senate, and are likely to pass a Republican-sponsored disapproval resolution. Opponents would have needed two-thirds majorities in both chambers – 34 votes in the Senate or 146 in the House – to override Obama’s promised veto. <^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Related graphic, reut.rs/1JyCXAK)
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