With two more centrist Senate Democrats supporting the Iran deal, momentum is trending towards Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell suffering a devastating defeat by being unable to pass a resolution of disapproval.
The Republican efforts to pass the resolution of disapproval took a major hit when centrist red state Democratic Sens. Claire McCaskill (MO) and Joe Donnelly (IN) both announced that they would be supporting the deal. Red state Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia is also leaning towards supporting the deal.
According to Politico:
McCaskill’s support for the deal moves the White House tantalizingly close to a safe position. If Obama and chief Senate vote-counter Dick Durbin of Illinois can round up 34 votes to sustain a veto of a motion of disapproval, the deal to curtail Iran’s nuclear ambitions will go through. Four Senate Democrats announced their support for the agreement this week, bringing the total to 26 Democrats for and just two against the deal in the 46-member caucus.
Some senior aides in Congress said it’s possible enough Democrats support the deal to block a disapproval resolution from getting 60 votes in the Senate, and McCaskill’s support shows increased momentum in that direction although a number of more hawkish East Coast Democrats remain undecided.
If Mitch McConnell can’t come up with the 60 votes that are needed to pass the resolution, it will be a devastating defeat for the Majority Leader and the Republican Party. The conventional wisdom has long been that McConnell would get enough votes to pass the resolution of disapproval and set up a veto showdown with President Obama.
However, there have been no mass defections from the Democratic camp. Only Sens. Schumer and Menendez have announced their support for the resolution. If Harry Reid keeps the remaining Democrats together, and all signs point to exactly that happening, McConnell will not have the votes, and Obama will get his win on the Iran deal without the veto drama.
In the House, Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has made it clear that the liberals have the votes to sustain President Obama’s potential veto.
The development that few expected is that Senate Democrats may stick with their President, and make sure McConnell’s bill never reaches Obama’s desk.
Republicans may hold the majority, but the real power in the Senate rests with the Democrats, as Mitch McConnell’s leadership is poised to fail again.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association