Hopes are fading that an expected veto by President Obama of the Iran deal disapproval resolution can be overridden as more red state Democratic senators have come out to support the deal.
At this point, it has even become a question whether Senate foes of the agreement can muster the 60 needed to bring it to the floor.
Congress is unlikely to override a promised veto by President Obama if both chambers reject a deal to curtail Iran’s nuclear capabilities, according to a Washington Post analysis of where the votes currently stand.
But several things have to happen first.
When both chambers return from the August recess, all 246 House Republicans are expected to vote against the deal, the analysis found. So far, 12 House Democrats have declared they too are opposed — more than enough to pass a resolution of disapproval through the lower chamber.
Over in the Senate, the vote to pass a resolution of disapproval is closer. About 31 Democrats either support the deal or are expected to back it, while 56 senators — including all Republicans plus two Democrats (Sens. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and Bob Menendez (N.J.)) — are either overtly against the pact or presumed foes. But as of now, that’s not sufficient to clear the 60-vote hurdle needed to pass the disapproval resolution.
If Congress rejects the deal at first pass, Obama has pledged to veto the resolution, meaning that opponents would then need to corral a two-thirds majority of both chambers to override the president and kill the deal.
But our analysis found that it will be very difficult for the deal’s opponents to override the president’s veto. In the House, rivals of the deal would need 44 of the remaining undecided Democrats to break with Obama, while in the Senate, 10 of 12 Democrats who are still undecided or haven’t tipped their hands would have to defy Obama to overturn the deal.
Given the full-court press from the White House and the fierce lobbying campaign currently afoot, that is a tall order — in the Senate especially.
A key red state Democrat, Senator Joe Donnelly of Indiana, came out in favor of the deal today. Recently, Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Tim Kaine of Virginia also said they’d back the president. The math is now becoming a real problem for treaty opponents, but the fact that the remaining Democrats are still on the fence at this point offers a little hope that the situation can be salvaged.
Even the revelation of the IAEA’s deal with Iran to “inspect” the Parchin military base by using Iranian scientists hasn’t appeared to make much of a difference with those undeclared Democrats. Sad to say that unless something extraordinary emerges that’s in the deal, President Obama will make his “history” while the rest of the world ponders the future of living in a world where Iran has the bomb.