US President Barack Obama has promised to use his veto to override a vote by both chambers which are expected to reject the Iran nuclear deal, however a recent analysis shows it will be a very close call as to whether a veto will hold or not.
The Washington Post broke down the numbers in a recent article. All 54 Republican senators are expected to oppose the deal. Two Democrat senators have announced they will cross party lines and reject the deal; Senator Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and SenatorBob Menendez (N.J.). This compares to 31 Democrats in the Senate who are expected to vote for passing the resolution. A total of 60 votes are required to reject it.
In both houses, it seems clear the all 246 Republicans will vote against the deal, plus 12 Democrats who are also expected to reject it, for a total of 258 nays. Only 218 votes are needed to for a vote of disapproval. But to overcome the anticipated presidential veto will require 290 votes, a number that most think unlikely at this time.
Nonetheless, for those who don’t give up so easily, an additional 6 Democrats are considered negatively predisposed towards the deal, and 88 are unknown or undecided.
59 Democrats are strong supporters of Obama’s deal, and another 23 are leaning towards supporting the deal.
In the House, 44 Democrats need to be drawn over to overturn the veto, and in the Senate, out of 12 Democrats who are undecided, 10 need to be convinced to vote against.
If both houses vote down the resolution, the president has 12 days to veto it, in which case the only way to stop the deal from going forward is a two-thirds majority in each house. If both chambers vote to override, it would prevent Obama from suspending sanctions on Iran related to its nuclear program.
Though it seems clear that there is a simple majority that opposes the deal, overriding the veto is considered by most pundits to be a difficult uphill battle, unlikely to prevent the deal from going through.
Despite the grim prospects, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has announced the he will continue to fight the deal, and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is in the midst of a $20 million campaign to help him in that cause. In order to bolster his resolve, Netanyahu has rejected an enhanced military aid package being offered in exchange for his tacit support of the deal.
The vote is scheduled for mid-September and opponents are using the time to work at convincing fence-sitting Democrats. It should be noted that most polls indicate that almost twice as many Americans oppose the deal as support it. In depth surveys have shown that many oppose the deal because it threatens Israel, but even more see it as a threat to America itself. The unpopularity of the Iranian deal may convince many of the undecided Democrats to risk crossing party lines rather than test the will and the memory of the voters in the next elections.