The debate on the Iran deal in Congress is heating up as representatives takes sides in opposition or support of the nuclear deal with Iran.
House Republicans said Monday that they have the enough party votes to disapprove of the Iran nuclear deal. Democrats reportedly stepped up their support of the agreement negotiated between the Islamic Republic and the US-led P5+1.
Since Republicans hold a commanding 246 seats in the House of Representatives, it is widely expected that they will come up with 218 votes to support a resolution of disapproval, which was introduced by Republican Congressman Peter Roskam.
“Time is not the friend of this deal,” Roskam said in a statement. “The more time members spend evaluating this agreement, the more they realize it’s a historic mistake.”
Enough Votes to Override Obama’s Veto?
It’s unclear, however, if there will be enough votes to override President Barack Obama’s expected veto of the legislation. The president is counting on fellow Democrats to sustain his veto, and House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi has said that they will.
Obama would need 34 members of the Senate or 146 members of the House to stand with him.
On Monday, Democratic Representatives Adam Schiff and Anna Eshoo joined an expanding list of representatives who announced their support of the accord.
Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said the deal “realistically precludes Iran from developing an atomic bomb” for at least 15 years.
Congress is engaged in a 60-day review of the deal, and Schiff’s decision to back the agreement is a boost for Obama.
Eshoo said her decision was not based on trusting Iran. “To the contrary,” she said, “the regime has a long list of offenses that I deeply object to, but there must be a mechanism in place to keep them from becoming a nuclear power.”
Crucial to the administration is Senator Chuck Schumer, a Jewish Democrat widely expected to be the next party leader in the Senate. Schumer, who has not disclosed his stance on the deal, has faced intense lobbying from both sides, including the pro-Israel American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
Schumer: ‘One of the Most Important Decisions’
“This is such an important decision that I will not let pressure, politics or party influence (me),” Schumer said Monday at a news conference in New York on gun control.
Schumer said he has received around 20 briefings, including two classified sessions.
“This is one of the most important decisions that I’ll make, that any senator or congressmen will make, and so I’m studying it really seriously,” he told reporters.
Asked if he had spoken to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a fierce opponent of the deal, Schumer declined to answer.
Another New York Democrat, freshman Rep. Kathleen Rice, said Monday she opposes the deal. Other Democrats have already announced they will vote against it.
Rep. Grace Meng, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and its subcommittee on the Middle East, wrote in a statement, “I strongly believe the world could and should have a better deal than that set forth in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which I will therefore oppose.”
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