Obama beats Congress on the Iran deal, and that is bad news.
There will be celebrations at the White House and among Obama supporters but the fact that his deal with Iran over their nuclear program is now assured of proceeding should be worrisome to anyone who wants peace, fears a nuclear Iran and supports Israel.
More on why the deal is bad in a minute but let’s go over what happened, why the deal is all but assured.
Obama needed 34 Senators to override any negative vote on the deal and he has them now.
Senator Barbara Mikulski, a veteran Democrat from Maryland issued a statement on Wednesday saying she will reluctantly support the deal struck between Iran, the United States and allies.
“The conditions for the lifting of sanctions are strict and verifiable, and with continued international support, sanctions could snap back.. The lifting of the sanctions comes more quickly than I would like, and snapback will require continued international support. But after considering the alternatives, I will support this agreement.”
Her support comes after two other Democrats that had reservations gave in to White House lobbying and backed the deal. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania issued a 17 page report explaining why he was backing the deal and Chris Coons of Delaware gave a speech to explain his support.
Make no mistake, these Democrats were subject to intensive lobbying efforts by the White House.
The White House still does not have enough people backing this deal to win a vote in the Senate, just enough to allow President Obama to veto anything coming out of the Senate that he doesn’t like. In essence, these Senators are allowing the White House to stop the Senate from performing one of their key functions, providing oversight on foreign policy and ratifying treaties.
The White House will strip that away.
Republicans have been universally opposed to the deal but they only have 54 members in the Senate, the Democrats 44 and there are two independents Angus King of Maine and Bernie Sanders of Vermont both of whom actually caucus with the Democrats.
So Republicans knew they needed some Democrats to come out against the deal.
Bob Menendez of New Jersey opposes the deal as does Chuck Schumer of New York, a powerful man in the Senate.
Schumer rejected President Obama’s claim that it was this deal or war. Schumer said rejecting the deal did not need to lead to war and then explained why he could not support it.
“I believe Iran will not change, and under this agreement it will be able to achieve its dual goals of eliminating sanctions while ultimately retaining its nuclear and non-nuclear power.”
That is a real fear.
While John Kerry claims the deal allows inspectors access to any site at any time that simply isn’t true. The deal allows Iran to stall inspectors for nearly a month, to forbid them access to some sites.
Iran’s public claims on the deal are vastly different than what John Kerry puts out there.
So let’s look at the opposition. Like I said, all the Republicans, including the presidential candidates have hit hard against the deal but few as hard as Ted Cruz who says the lifting of sanctions and the release of previously frozen assets will enrich the regime in Tehran with billions upon billions of dollars. This is what Cruz has said about that portion of the deal time and again.
Now some, including some Republicans claim that Cruz shouldn’t be saying things like that. Is it accurate? Well, without the Obama administration Iran would not get that money and even John Kerry admitted in Congressional testimony that the money very well might be used to fund terrorism.
No deal, no money. No push from Obama, no deal to make Iran rich again.
This deal may make life a little more difficult for Iran but there are so many holes in it that like Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer, I can’t help but believe it will not stop Iran’s nuclear program.
The Saudis don’t trust this deal and they are now expected by many to begin a mini arms race to get their own nuclear bomb as insurance against Iran.
An arms race in the middle east, Israel under greater threat than ever.
President Obama has said it was this deal or war, I say there is a very good argument to say this deal may lead to war rather than prevent one.
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