It's looking more and more like President Obama's nuclear agreement with Iran and other global partners is a done deal, and that there are now enough Democratic votes to kill the Republican plan to scrap it, but will there be enough to prevent the President from having to veto it at all?
President Barack Obama’s almost certain to get the Iran nuclear deal through Congress — but whether he gets there by filibuster or sustained veto could make all the difference.
A Democratic filibuster in the Senate would be a clear victory for the president, allowing Obama to say that for all the political noise there wasn’t enough actual opposition to the nuclear agreement with the Islamic republic to even get to a final vote.
Having to save the deal with a veto (just the fifth of his presidency) and relying on liberals in the House and Senate to sustain it would be much more trouble: a procedural pull across the finish line that sows more doubts in a public already skeptical of the deal, leaves international partners worried about America’s long-term commitment and adds weeks of added time and tangles.
The White House very much prefers option A. And even before he came out publicly for the deal on Sunday, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had been in frequent contact with White House chief of staff Denis McDonough to try to make that happen.
The numbers are tight: They’ll need 12 of the remaining 15 undecided Senate Democrats to go Obama’s way, along with the 29 already there.
Obama, White House aides and Senate minority whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) — who’s been running the unofficial Iran vote-counting operation — have been scrambling to lock down the remaining votes to get 41 Democrats to stick with the president.
“Those who are students of the process know that the president has the last word,” Durbin said. “I’d like to win it earlier.”
We'll see where undecided Democrats like Cory Booker, Barb Mikulski, Ben Cardin, Mark Warner and Chris Coons go with this. Getting 12 of the 15 will be an issue, especially Warner, Cardin, and Coons.
We'll see where this goes, but considering the sheer number of times Senate Dems have screwed President Obama over, my money is on him having to take the veto option in the end.