Monday, August 24, 2015

IRAN - Nuclear Deal in U.S. Congress

"Where does the Iran nuclear deal stand in Congress?" PBS NewsHour 8/19/2015


SUMMARY:  Congress will vote next month on a measure to disapprove or block the Iran nuclear deal.  But will opponents have enough votes?  Gwen Ifill talks to chief foreign affairs correspondent Margaret Warner and political director Lisa Desjardins.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  The Associated Press reports today that under an agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran will be allowed to use its own inspectors to investigate one location it has been accused of using to develop nuclear arms.

This comes about halfway through the 60-day period that Congress has to scrutinize the Iran nuclear deal with the U.S. and five other countries, a period in which we’re seeing a multimillion-dollar lobbying campaign.  Both houses of Congress plan to vote next month on a measure to disapprove, or block, the deal.  But opponents face a few hurdles.  They first need 60 votes in the Senate.  And then, if they get a disapproval bill to the President, he’s expected to veto it, meaning they would then need a two-third vote to override him.

Joining me now for a midway check up on all this, our chief foreign affairs correspondent, Margaret Warner, and our political director, Lisa Desjardins.

Welcome to you both.

So, Margaret, I will start with you.

Where do things stand right now?

MARGARET WARNER (NewsHour):  Well, Judy, the White House has given up all hope that in fact this deal might be considered on the merits with no partisan consideration and they might actually get an endorsement or some Republicans.

So they are focused, as you said, on just making sure they have a rock-hard 34 votes to override a veto.  And the President is right now working overtime, both from his vacation home in Martha’s Vineyard and before that in lots of meetings, to try to get at least 34 to come out publicly.

That said, right now, they only have 23 to 24 publicly declared supporters.  But they did get a boost today when a conservative Democrat from Indiana, (Sen) Joe Donnelly, who had been on the fence, came out late today and said he would support the deal.

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