- Iran Deal Likely to Face Scrutiny over August
- August 10, 2015
- Law Firm: McDonald Hopkins LLC - Cleveland Office
- August is a quiet time in Washington, DC, but it’s an absolutely critical time for the future of the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran. As both chambers head home for a month, groups both for and against the deal are ramping up their efforts - and undecided members will come under increasing pressure to take a public stance on the controversial deal.
It was an up and down week for the supporters of the deal. Early this week, several key Democratic Senators— including Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Tim Kaine (D-VA)— announced their support for the deal.
But it wasn’t all good news for the Obama administration, who is lobbying furiously on the deal. Some high profile Democrats announced their opposition to the bill this week—including Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY), the House’s highest-ranking Jewish Democrat. Israel not only announced his opposition to the deal, he went further, saying he would lobby against it. Israel was joined on Tuesday by fellow New Yorker Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), who announced her opposition to the deal.
Thursday, two more high profile Democrats— Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) —also came out against the deal.
In order to block the nuclear deal, Democratic opponents and Republicans still have a lot of work ahead of them. They need to amass a congressional supermajority to override the president's expected veto. The White House just has to keep all but about a dozen Senate Democrats.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has launched a massive lobbying effort, inundating members with emails, meetings, and calls. The group has established a special 501(c)(4) specifically to stop the Iran deal. Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran is stacked with former policymakers, including Sens. Joe Lieberman, Mary Landrieu, and Mark Begich. According to the Sunlight Foundation, the group planned to launch ads in 18 states to convince voters that the Iran nuclear deal still leaves some things to be desired.
And there are plenty of Democrats who remain conflicted. Sen. Chuck Schumer, who will in all likelihood rise to become the Senate's Democratic leader when Harry Reid retires, is coming up against one of the most contentious votes of his Senate tenure. Even the foreign relations committee's ranking member, Ben Cardin of Maryland, has not issued a statement of unflinching support.