If Congress as expected votes after Labor Day to disapprove the Iran nuclear agreement, President Obama will almost certainly be able to veto the resolution safe in the knowledge that his action will not be overturned.
Thirty-three Senate Democrats have now signaled that they support the deal negotiated between Iran and six world powers, and that they will oppose a Republican-led joint resolution disapproving it.
Thirty-four senators – one-third of the Senate plus one – are sufficient to sustain a presidential veto.
Furthermore, if eight of the remaining 11 undeclared Democrats join the pro-agreement column, the GOP measure could be defeated by filibuster. That would shield Obama from having to use his veto pen, but also be highly controversial given the strong bipartisan support for the original legislation allowing Congress to review and vote on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
With Republicans in the Senate universally opposed to the JCPOA, at the outset they looked for just 13 Democrats to join them to garner a veto-proof majority. But over a summer characterized by strong lobbying on both sides, and numerous statements of support or opposition from expert and other quarters, that target steadily grew less attainable.
On Tuesday, Sens. Chris Coons (D-Dela.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.) declared their support for) the nuclear deal, leaving the White House just one senator short of the target.
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