Sen. Ben Cardin (D – MD) declared victory today on the battle to get enough Democrats to support the Iran nuclear deal to prevent the Republican leadership from overriding a presidential veto and trying to prevent the US from taking part in the pact.
Cardin made the comments with 31 senators on board, predicting the 32nd would come out today, and they’d get to 34 by week’s end. Indeed, two senators, Chris Coons (D – DE) and Bob Casey (D – PA) both endorsed the pact today, bringing the number to 33.
There are 11 undecided Democrats remaining, and they are only one vote short of the 34 needed to support a veto. The rapid increase in support for the deal has raised the possibility that the Democrats could hit the 41 seats needed to support a filibuster that would prevent the vote in the first place.
The Republicans had previously expressed confidence that they would get enough support to override the promised veto, but as the 34 seems increasingly inevitable, they are presenting having a vote at all as at least a partial victory.
Senate Republicans have warned against trying to filibuster the vote, saying they believe the Democrats would pay a political price for preventing the vote from taking place. They have also suggested that they will hold a vote in the House even if no vote will take place in the Senate, which would make the results of no practical meaning.