Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D – MD) has endorsed the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran today, ensuring that there will be enough pro-deal votes in the Senate to support a presidential veto of the bill, which attempts to block US participation in the pact.
Yesterday, Sen. Ben Cardin (D – MD) had predicted that they’d get to 34 votes by the end of the week, and indeed Mikulski marks the 34th vote, meaning the anti-deal bill can’t get the 67 votes it would need to override a promised Obama veto.
There are now 10 undecided Democrats left in the Senate, and while the veto is safe that doesn’t mean the lobbying will halt. The next effort will be getting the 41 seats that would support a Democrat filibuster of the anti-deal bill, which would prevent it from getting a vote at all and spare the president from having to veto it at all.
The Republicans had previously expressed confidence that they would get enough support to override the promised veto, but are now presenting having a vote at all as at least a partial victory. They have warned the Democrats will pay a political price for filibustering the vote, and have also suggested there would be a vote in the House, even though without a Senate vote that would have no practical meaning.