Report: Netanyahu’s US Confidantes Believe Congress Won’t Overrule Iran Nuclear Deal
U.S. sources close to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have concluded that opponents of the Iran nuclear deal won’t secure enough votes in Congress to overturn it, Israeli news site nrg reported on Thursday.
According to the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, referred to familiarly as the “Corker-Cardin Bill” (after its two drafters, Senators Bob Corker and Ben Cardin), Congress had 30 days to review any agreement signed between Iran and the P5+1 powers, and then vote on whether to approve it. That time frame was extended to 60 days when the international parties were unable to conclude a deal by the original July 1 deadline, and only reached the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on July 14.
If a majority of Congressmen in both the House of Representatives and the Senate vote against the JCPOA, President Obama could still exercise his veto power. In this event, a two-thirds majority of both houses of Congress — 67 Senators and the proportional equivalent of representatives from the House — would be required to override the veto.
The Republican party, which holds the majority in both houses of Congress, has closed ranks against the deal. But since they do not hold a two-thirds majority in either house, they need their Democrat counterparts to join them in opposing it.
A veto-proof majority would require 44 House Democrats and 13 Senate Democrats to oppose the deal.
However, while a number of prominent Democrats have signaled their opposition — including Senators Chuck Schumer and Bob Menendez, as well as reps Alcee Hastings, Juan Vargas, Eliot Engel and Brad Sherman — only 11 House Democrats and two Democratic Senators have come out in opposition. Furthermore, 29 of the 34 senators needed to keep a potential veto at bay have signaled their support for the deal, with Senator Debbie Stabenow from Michigan joining on Monday.
Because of these numbers, Netanyahu’s confidantes say that efforts must now be focused on convincing the American public to oppose the JCPOA, on which Congress is slated to vote on September 16.