42 Senators Now Back Iran Deal, Ensuring Passage

Senators Will Be Able to Filibuster Anti-Deal Bill

The P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran will survive the US Congress after all. Today, four Democrat senators, Sens. Ron Wyden (D – OR), Richard Blumenthal (D – CT), and Gary Peters (D – MI) came out in favor of the pact, bringing the number in support to 41. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D – WA) came on later in the day, making it 42.

The means a bill sponsored by the Republican leadership aimed at blocking the deal has no chance of getting through the Senate. The vote would’ve needed 60 votes to pass a filibuster, and 67 to override a promised presidential veto. Now, the most they will be able to muster is 58.

Even that is a “best case scenario” for the anti-deal crowd, with the current numbers 42 pro-deal, 35 against deal, and 23 unannounced. Though it has been presented as a virtual lock that all Republicans would oppose the deal, lobby pressure to do so is probably going to relax considerably now that it has no chance.

The Israel Lobby is still calling for new bills that aim to undermine US implementation of the deal, while unable to block it outright, and the Republicans have suggested they will still hold a vote in the House, even though without any chance of a Senate version that vote will have no real meaning.

Congress had 60 days from the announcement of the P5+1 deal to vote on it, and planned to vote in mid-September, near the end of the deadline, figuring this would give lobbyists time to shore up a veto-proof majority. Instead, they’ve lost momentum dramatically, and the deal is secure.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.