House to vote on Iran deal after August recess

Leaders in the House of Representatives confirmed Tuesday that they would be drafting and voting on a Disapproval Resolution to July’s Iran Nuclear Deal. The agreement, negotiated between the 5+1 Powers and Iran have been seen by many as too weak and pushed by the Obama Administration merely as a “legacy defining” victory despite obvious flaws in the deal. The vote will come sometime in September, following the August recess and before the Sept. 17 deadline.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., unveiled the legislation, saying the deal “gives up too much, too fast, to a terrorist state — making the world less safe, less secure, and less stable.”

A day earlier, House Republicans said they had the 218 GOP votes lined up for a so-called resolution of disapproval.

President Obama, meanwhile, is working to secure the backing of Democrats in both chambers. He won key endorsements on Tuesday, with Sen. Time Kaine, D-Va., and Bill Nelson, D-Fla., coming out in favor.

If both the House and Senate vote against the deal, Obama is certain to veto — but foes would need to muster a two-thirds majority in Congress to override.

Though the United Nations is moving forward on many aspects of the nuclear agreement regardless, Congress would have leverage over U.S. sanctions, which Royce called “the most powerful economic sanctions in the world.”

It would likely be a very difficult proposition for either the house or senate to muster the necessary votes to override an absolutely certain presidential veto, and Democrats will likely justify their support based on the premise that there is no better alternative to supporting the deal. President Obama is actively trying to solidify Democrats to support the deal, and some influential donors have written a letter to democrat leadership urging support for the Iran nuclear deal.

The letter was spearheaded by J Street, the left-leaning Jewish organization, and the Council for a Livable World, a group with a heavy focus on nuclear non-proliferation. It is addressed to eight members of the Democratic leadership in both the House and Senate, including Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, who is considered a critical vote and is under tremendous pressure by conservative pro-Israel organizations determined to kill the agreement.

According to J Street, the donors have given tens of thousands of dollars per election cycle to Democratic candidates in the past. At least two people who signed, Paul Egerman and Guy Saperstein, are members of the Democracy Alliance, a liberal network of donors akin to the Koch brothers network on the right.

Schumer, for his part, has said that he is carefully considering the deal and will not be swayed by party or pressure.

 

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