Delaware Sen. Thomas Carper is now the 30th Senate Democrat to come out in support of the Iran nuclear deal, moving President Barack Obama a step closer to having sufficient backing to ensure the deal stands.
Obama is trying to muster 34 votes in the Senate so that lawmakers cannot kill the deal. The 30 senators in support of it are all Democrats and independents who vote with Democrats.
Carper explained his decision to endorse the Iran deal in an opinion piece for The News Journal of Delaware
"America and our five negotiating partners — Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China — have reached an historic agreement with Iran to end their pursuit of nuclear weapons for years and, maybe, forever," the Delaware Democrat explained.
"The deal provides Iran an opportunity to rebuild its economy and shed the pariah status it’s borne for decades, a status that belies the culture and history of that nation," he said.
Carper said that he considered the opinions of his constituents before making his decision to support the deal.
Delaware Sen. Chris Coons, also a Democrat, is expected to make an announcement about the Iran deal on Sept. 1 in a speech at the University of Delaware in Newark.
Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is still reportedly undecided about whether she will support the nuclear deal, The Atlantic
Congress must vote on the deal by Sept. 17. The following describes how votes are likely to play out:
Newsmax reporter Courtney Coren contributed to this report.
- When Congress returns on Sept. 8 from its August recess, debate will begin on a Republican-sponsored "resolution of disapproval" against the deal
- In the Senate, Republicans must gather 60 votes to move the resolution forward under Senate procedural rules. If they can, they will then need a simple majority of 51 votes in the chamber to approve the resolution. It would pass, because Republicans control a majority of Senate seats and most have already come out against the agreement.
- There is no similar procedural barrier in the House. The resolution is expected to easily win approval there. Republicans hold 246 seats in the 435-seat House.
- If both chambers approve the resolution, it would go to Obama's desk for review. He has vowed to veto it.
- If he does so, opponents would then try to override the veto. This would take a two-thirds majority vote in each chamber. The Senate has 100 members; the House, 434, plus one vacant seat.
- Democrats could block an override in the Senate with 34 votes. So far, 30 senators have committed to voting in favor of the deal; 31 have said they will oppose it.
- In the House, if Republicans voted unanimously against the deal, they would need to get at least 44 Democrats to vote with them to override a veto.
- The Iran deal is not a treaty, so it does not need the two-thirds vote in the Senate to be ratified. The "resolution of disapproval" mechanism was included in a law Obama signed in May giving Congress the right to weigh in on the nuclear deal with Iran.
- If Congress were to pass a resolution of disapproval and override a veto, Obama would be barred from waiving most of the U.S. sanctions imposed on Iran over its nuclear program. Proponents of the agreement say this would kill the deal.
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