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Chuck Schumer Against Iran Nuke Deal (Update)

Chuck Schumer Against Iran Nuke Deal (Update)

A deal breaker, or just a CYA courtesy vote?

The Huffington Post is reporting that Chuck Schumer will come out against the Iran Nuke Deal:

New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, the chamber’s third-ranking Democrat, plans to announce his opposition to the nuclear deal negotiated by the U.S., Iran, and five world powers tomorrow, three people familiar with his thinking tell The Huffington Post.

Schumer’s move will come a day after New Hampshire Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Schumer’s fellow New York senator, Kirstin Gillibrand, announced their support for the deal. That momentum is blunted by Schumer’s pending announcement. Backers of the deal had hoped that if Schumer decided to oppose the deal, he would hold off until the last minute.

(added) Schumer made the announcement Thursday night, as reported by CNN:

New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, an influential Jewish Democrat who’s poised to assume leadership of his party in the Senate, will oppose President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, he announced on Thursday evening.

“After deep study, careful thought and considerable soul-searching, I have decided I must oppose the agreement and will vote yes on a motion of disapproval,” Schumer wrote in a 1,600-word post on the website Medium that posted during the first Republican presidential debate.

“I will vote to disapprove the agreement, not because I believe war is a viable or desirable option, nor to challenge the path of diplomacy,” he added later. “It is because 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.”

Will this break the deal? Remember, Democrats only need 1/3 of the Chamber to block opposition to the deal. So unless he lobbies his colleagues really hard, this may be just a courtesy vote.

UPDATE 8-7-2015: It certainly is interesting that Schumer, who is relentless to get in front of cameras, made his announcement Thursday night when all media attention was focused on the Republican debate. That certainly suggests that his vote is CYA. And this CNN report also suggests the same:

He’s the most influential Democrat to come out in opposition to the deal, a stance long sought by the agreement’s opponents, many of whom are his constituents.

But the decision to make his position public on the heels of a string of endorsements was being seen in the White House as a signal that it has a veto-proof number of supporters and it was safe for Schumer to oppose the deal without jeopardizing the President’s agenda.

“We’re very confident that we can hold that veto, with the Democratic Caucus in the House and also the Senate,” Ben Rhodes, the President’s deputy national security advisor, told CNN on Wednesday.

That feeling in bolstered by Schumer’s own statement that he’s not going to lobby his colleagues very hard, via The Hill:

“There are some who believe that I can force my colleagues to vote my way,” Schumer said a separate statement Thursday evening. “While I will certainly share my view and try to persuade them that the vote to disapprove is the right one, in my experience with matters of conscience and great consequence like this, each member ultimately comes to their own conclusion.”

Schumer has an Op-Ed in The NY Post today, Why I’m opposing the Iran nuclear deal, which is listed as an “excerpt” of his announcement Thursday night:

Therefore, I’ll vote to disapprove the agreement, not because I believe war is a viable or desirable option, nor to challenge the path of diplomacy. It is because I believe Iran won’t 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.

Better to keep US sanctions in place, strengthen them, enforce secondary sanctions on other nations and pursue the hard-trodden path of diplomacy once more, difficult as it may be.

(added) Hmmm — Did White House force the leak Thursday night to make sure Schumer didn’t get attention? Jonah Goldberg wonders if that was an Obama miscalculation:


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Juba Doobai! | August 6, 2015 at 9:30 pm

I don’t like Schumer, never have, never will. Yet, I always thought he was honest in his care for Israel. Now I know he is not. Politics and position trumps the continued existence of Jews.

Mirabelle Ward | August 6, 2015 at 10:33 pm

I think that is Jeff Goldberg’s wishful thinking. It is too early to be able to say that passage is secure. Good for Schumer if he does in fact announce this early. But yes, he may just vote against and not lobby his colleagues, which would not really be good enough.

Schumer? CYA, never a doubt about that!

Schmucky is just an attention slut. He obviously thought he needed more attention and fawning by the MSM.

I think Schumer knows the deal is in the bag and Obama is allowing him to appeal to his voting base.

Need 13 Democrats in the Senate, 44 in the House to override a veto.

As usual, the fact there aren’t enough Democrats to do it will be blamed on Republicans by the LIQ crowd.

    gasper in reply to Estragon. | August 7, 2015 at 9:23 am

    No, what we will be disappointed in is that Democrats will always support their party before their country. Always. And so might some Republicans. We have seen it time and time again. Cynical? You’re damned right I’m cynical. I enjoy many of your comments but can do without the snark.

What nobody is talking about is the likelihood of that Iranian nuke technology finding its way back to the fools in New York who elected Schumer.

Think two planes crashing into buildings and killing 3,000 New Yorkers was bad? Wait until and Iranian dirty bomb in a suitcase makes Manhattan uninhabitable for 100 years.

Never a doubt that Chuck U. would do the despicable and wait until Obama had the votes to come out against this. If, he is really against this, he has the power as incoming Senate leader of Dems / liars / progressives to bang heads, threaten people and really take up the fight. That, will not happen, as he goes wow, we lost?

Humphrey's Executor | August 7, 2015 at 1:36 pm

It outrages me that Obama let the deal sail through the security council before congress could review the deal. He’s not a Chamberlain. He’s a Quisling.

I thought I heard this morning that there is a growing list of ‘Rats coming out against the deal. Probably not enough yet to make a difference, if Congress follows the unConstitutional law they passed earlier. But, I doubt Mitch McCuck is man or American enough to ignore that BS law and move forward on the treaty track.

Regardless of political persuasion, any Congressman or Senator who votes to allow this “treaty” with Iran, knowing full well that secret deals are being kept from us, should be recalled and booted out of office. We should never accept an agreement without us knowing EVERYTHING.

Sammy Finkelman | August 7, 2015 at 5:19 pm

The timing, and just who came out against it and who did not, looks just a little too calculated.

Schumer seems to have deliberately tried to avoid undermining the chances that Obama will get his way, although he says will make the case that it shouldn’t be approved.

The whole thing looks very much like a calculation that, if he were to vote for the deal, he could motivate someone to challenge him in the primary and/or a strong Republican to run in the general election. Schumer’s been getting by mostly with non-entities. His campaign war chest is very bog precisely for that reason.

I didn’t like the way Kirsten Gillibrand comes out in favor of the deal just before Schumer comes out against it. Also, he announced it during the Republican debate, which sounds like something designed to avoid getting attention.

I also think that Obama probably had advance notice and took account of it in his speech on Wednesday. In fact, the type of opposition Obama had the most toleration for – how this would affect Iran’s non-nuclear activities – seems the strongest part of Senator Charles Schumer’s opposition.

On the substance, he argues that, with regard to Iran’s nuclear activities in the next ten years, we might be slightly better off with the deal. (Obama claims we will be very much better off, because otherwise the sanctions will wither, there will be no chance for another deal, Iran will accelerate its program, and then he’ll have to bomb Iran during the Presidential election campaign, and who knows where things go from there.)

Senator Schumer further argues that with regard to Iran’s non-nuclear activities, “there’s a strong case we’ll be better off without an agreement” and, a sentence or so later, “we’d be better off without it.”

Finally, with regard to nuclear activities after ten years, he says we’d be better off without it.

Who is to say, he asks, that this dictatorship, which has already lasted 35 years, won’t prevail for another 10, 20 or 30 years?

Sammy Finkelman | August 7, 2015 at 5:44 pm

I think this was co-ordinated with the White House, not leaked to force Schumer to announce it just then.