Friday, August 21, 2015

Robert Menendez and Chuck Schumer may not matter much on Iran

To have any prayer of scuttling the pact, the GOP still needs many more Democrats to break with Obama

By Burgess Everett, Politico.com
Updated 8/19/15 7:16 AM EDT

They’ve got Chuck Schumer and Robert Menendez.

But Republicans need a whole lot more Democrats to have any hope of derailing President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.

Indeed, the most pressing question at this point is whether they can even get the 60 votes in opposition that are needed to break a filibuster and get a disapproval resolution to Obama’s desk. Senate Majority Mitch McConnell himself has all but said overriding a veto isn’t going to happen as Congress prepares to vote on the deal when it returns from its monthlong recess in September.

The announcements by Schumer two weeks ago and then Menendez on Tuesday certainly were a boon to Republican lawmakers and groups still holding out hope of squelching the controversial accord. But after those two New York-area senators, it becomes more difficult to identify other Democrats who’ll be willing to break with Obama on his signature foreign policy initiative.

Even the opposition by Schumer and Menendez may pack less punch than it might appear at first blush. Schumer, the presumptive Democratic leader-in-waiting, insists he isn’t whipping fellow Democrats to join him in voting against the deal. And the spring indictment of Menendez on corruption charges forced him to cede his status as Senate Democrats’ point man on foreign policy to the far less hawkish Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland.

(More here.)

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