Senators Cory Booker (D – NJ), Mark Warner (D – VA), and Heidi Heitkamp (D – ND) have all come out in favor of the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran, bringing the number of senators in favor of the deal to 37. 7 more, all Democrats, remain undecided.
This comes a day after they reached the 34 supporters number needed to uphold a presidential veto of a bill attempting to block the deal, but now the focus is on trying to get the 41 votes needed to support a filibuster of the bill, saving the president from having to veto it at all.
Heavy lobbying from AIPAC was expected to make this a much closer vote than it turned out to be, and not getting a vote at all would be a real blow to the group’s much-vaunted influence. former Sen. Joe Lieberman (D – CT), who is among those leading AIPAC’s campaign, called the defeat “unfair.”
Even if the promised veto means the bill just isn’t going to pass, the filibuster seems to have both sides still campaigning hard on those last seven undecided senators, and is likely to remain the public focus even as both the Republican leadership and AIPAC look to offer new bills that will undermine the nuclear deal.