When the freight train of Senate bull is barreling towards you and you can't stop it, you can either throw yourself in front of it or you can jump off the tracks and hope you land safely.
The White House relented on Tuesday and said President Obama would sign a compromise bill giving Congress a voice on the proposed nuclear accord with Iran as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in rare unanimous agreement, moved the legislation to the full Senate for a vote.
An unusual alliance of Republican opponents of the nuclear deal and some of President Obama’s strongest Democratic supporters demanded a congressional role as international negotiators work to turn this month’s nuclear framework into a final deal by June 30. White House officials insisted they extracted crucial last-minute concessions. Republicans — and many Democrats — said the president simply got overrun.
“We’re involved here. We have to be involved here,” said Senator Benjamin L. Cardin of Maryland, the committee’s ranking Democrat, who served as a bridge between the White House and Republicans as they negotiated changes in the days before the committee’s vote on Tuesday. “Only Congress can change or permanently modify the sanctions regime.”
The essence of the legislation is that Congress will have a chance to vote on whatever deal emerges with Iran — if one is reached by June 30 — but in a way that would be extremely difficult for Mr. Obama to lose, allowing Secretary of State John Kerry to tell his Iranian counterpart that the risk that an agreement would be upended on Capitol Hill is limited.
As Congress considers any accord on a very short timetable, it would essentially be able to vote on an eventual end to sanctions, and then later take up the issue depending on whether Iran has met its own obligations. But if it rejected the agreement, Mr. Obama could veto that legislation — and it would take only 34 senators to sustain the veto, meaning that Mr. Obama could lose upward of a dozen Democratic senators and still prevail.
In other words, this is a deal that presumes there are at least 34 Senate Democrats with a spine. He also doesn't have a choice as there are enough Democrats willing to throw him in front of said speeding train.
Considering that 19-0 committee vote, the odds of this getting 80 or more votes in the full Senate is a extremely high. President Obama will apparently choose to fight another day on this, and for now the Iran deal is still alive.
But basically at any point if there are enough Democrats willing to screw him over, the Iran deal comes crashing down.
And people wonder why Dems lose in races other than President.