They’re stalled at 59 supporters right now, but the Senate hawks pushing the Iran sanctions bill amid threats of a presidential veto are angling for Democrats to support the pact, saying they see this as the key to forcing Majority Leader Harry Reid (D – NV) to allow an early vote.
All but two Senate Republicans have gone on the record in favor of the bill, which is being lobbied for heavily by the Israeli Lobby AIPAC, and which both supporters and opponents say will effectively end diplomacy with Iran. Sens. Jeff Flake (R – AZ) and Rand Paul (R – KY) have both said they are “open” to backing the sanctions, but haven’t committed to them yet.
At 59 supporters, the bill is just one Senator shy of being filibuster-proof, and 8 shy of being able to override President Obama’s veto. The bill gained a lot of support early, but has been stuck at 59 for several days now.
President Obama has admonished supporters of the bill to be honest that it is a de facto vote for war with Iran. The bill doesn’t explicitly call for a US attack on Iran, but endorses the idea of Israel attacking them whenever they feel like it.