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Iran Deal Done: With Mikulski, Obama Has All the Votes He Needs

Mikulski may not get a chance to debate her proposal to have NSA nominees go through Senate confirmation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Mikulski may not get a chance to debate her proposal to have NSA nominees go through Senate confirmation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A week before Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and fellow GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump plan to rally against it with conservative media personality Glenn Beck, the Iran deal is a done deal.  

The only question now is whether President Barack Obama will have to veto a disapproval resolution against the P5+1 agreement at all.  

Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski announced Wednesday she’s supporting the international agreement with Iran regarding its nuclear capabilities. In doing so, the Maryland Democrat gives the Obama administration a veto override-proof list of 34 Senate supporters, all from the Democratic caucus.  

“No deal is perfect, especially one negotiated with the Iranian regime,” Mikulski wrote in a statement Wednesday. “I have concluded that this Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is the best option available to block Iran from having a nuclear bomb. For these reasons, I will vote in favor of this deal. However, Congress must also reaffirm our commitment to the safety and security of Israel.”

(Also read: Key Takeaways from Obama’s Big Iran Deal Win)  

Just two Senate Democrats — Charles E. Schumer of New York and Robert Menendez of New Jersey — had vocalized opposition to the agreement at the time it reached 34 supporters, making it entirely possible there are not even 60 votes needed to limit debate and eliminate a filibuster  

Mikulski joined the list of supporters one day after two Democratic senators who had been seen as having among the most significant concerns made detailed presentations to explain their support.  

Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania wrote a 17-page memo to explain his analysis, and Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware, who has already developed into a key voice at the Foreign Relations Committee, gave a speech at the University of Delaware and spoke to reporters about his decision.


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