Sen. Chuck Schumer said Thursday night he'll oppose the nuclear deal worked out by the United States and five other world powers with Iran.
The New York Times reports
the New York Democrat – a prominent Jewish voice in Congress – in a statement said his decision came "after deep study, careful thought and considerable soul-searching...."
"Advocates on both sides have strong cases for their point of view that cannot simply be dismissed," Schumer said, making evaluation of the deal "a difficult and deliberate endeavor…" but that he had "decided I must oppose the agreement and will vote yes on a motion of disapproval."
"There are some who believe that I can force my colleagues to vote my way," Schumer said.
"While I will certainly share my view and try to persuade them that the vote to disapprove is the right one, in my experience with matters of conscience and great consequence like this, each member ultimately comes to their own conclusion."
According to CNN,
Schumer added later:
"I will vote to disapprove the agreement, not because I believe war is a viable or desirable option, nor to challenge the path of diplomacy. It is because I believe Iran will not change, and under this agreement it will be able to achieve its dual goals of eliminating sanctions while ultimately retaining its nuclear and non-nuclear power."
Schumer's announcement comes a day after New Hampshire Democrat Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Sen. Kirstin Gillibrand, Schumer's New York Democrat colleague, announced they'd back the deal.
A pro-Israel lawmaker who is the Senate's third-ranking Democrat, Schumer has been considered pivotal to the Iran deal's future.
The Times reports House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California is working to build support for the Iran deal in the House, and has assembled an informal team of Democrats determined to win over the 146 House Democrats needed to uphold a veto of the Iran deal.
In the House, at least five Democrats came out in support of the plan on Wednesday following a major speech by Obama defending it, CNN notes.
A White House official tells CNN Schumer's announcement of opposition came only after enough Democratic support was assured to keep the plan intact.
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