Most Read
Image 01 Image 02 Image 03

Senate Dems Lock In Votes for Iran Nuclear Deal

Senate Dems Lock In Votes for Iran Nuclear Deal

Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) is Lucky No. 34.

Today Democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski committed her vote in support of the controversial Iran nuclear deal, bringing the total number of Senators backing the deal to 34—the magic number needed to ensure Democrats can sustain President Obama’s veto should Senators opposed to the deal bring forward a resolution of disapproval.

More from the AP:

Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland became the crucial 34th vote in favor of the agreement.

“No deal is perfect, especially one negotiated with the Iranian regime,” Mikulski said in a statement. She called the accord “the best option available to block Iran from having a nuclear bomb. For these reasons, I will vote in favor of this deal.”

The backing from Mikulski, who is retiring next year, gives supporters the margin they need to uphold an Obama veto of a congressional resolution of disapproval if Republicans pass such a measure later this month.

And it spells failure for opponents of the international agreement who sought to foil it by turning Congress against it. Leading that effort were Israel and its allies in the U.S., who failed to get traction after spending millions of dollars trying.

Reaction on both sides, of course, exploded:

The battle isn’t over, though. Republicans and Democrats opposed to the deal still have the option of pushing a resolution through Congress expressing disapproval of the deal, a move that Republicans in Congress are confident could produce at least a pass, if not a veto-busting mandate.

Democrats don’t want it to go this far, though. They worry about the inevitable optic (as @RBpundit’s tweet—embedded above—points out) that will arise if President Obama is forced to use his pen as a sword, cutting his way through a Congressional mandate. For that reason, they plan on pushing forward with a plan to gain enough votes to block debate of any disapproving legislation entirely.

DONATE

Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.

Tags:
,

Comments

Sammy Finkelman | September 2, 2015 at 11:30 am

They need 7 more Senate votes to maintain a filibuster.

The Senate needs to go nuclear on they asses.

Not. Holding. My. Breath.

    Milhouse in reply to Ragspierre. | September 2, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    I don’t think that will be necessary. It was hard enough for the Dems to get to 34 senators; they won’t get 41.

    tarheelkate in reply to Ragspierre. | September 2, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    If it looks like they can stop the vote, then it’s time to kill the filibuster.

      Milhouse in reply to tarheelkate. | September 2, 2015 at 12:39 pm

      No, this is not the hill on which to fight that particular fight. If the senate Rs ever do decide to go nuclear it will have to be over a vote that actually matters. If the Ds get 41 votes on this then by definition they will have 34 to sustain a veto, so there would be no way to justify going nuclear over it. But I don’t think they will get to 41. 34 was hard enough.

    Yes as in nuclear option.

    Ask a parlimentary question whether this is really a treaty that requires an AFFIRMATIVE vote of 2/3 of the Senate to ratify, not withstanding any Senate rule or law to the contrary.

      Milhouse in reply to Dr P. | September 2, 2015 at 3:23 pm

      And what happens when (not if) they don’t consent to it? How would it be different from now? What you’re suggesting is exactly like a girl telling a guy that she won’t marry him, when he has already told her that he has no intention of proposing in the first place, and therefore has no interest in her consent!

Sammy Finkelman | September 2, 2015 at 11:50 am

There is also the possibility of a resolution saying what the deal is not, which I don’t think the President can veto, because it is not a law.

Even the New York Times proposes that, albeit imagining it comes with Obama’s endorsement:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/02/opinion/what-should-obama-do-next-on-iran.html

Mr. Obama should not be content to have his veto sustained in Congress. His more important aim, looking beyond the vote, is to win the long-term struggle with Iran for power in the Middle East.

To begin this effort, the administration should commit to a policy of coercive diplomacy — major steps to keep Iran on the defensive and push back against its growing power in the Middle East. The president should suggest that Republicans and Democrats agree on a separate resolution to support this more tough-minded approach…

And there will be some bills to extend sanctions.

    Sammy Finkelman in reply to Sammy Finkelman. | September 2, 2015 at 11:53 am

    From the New York Times:

    …Second, Mr. Obama could state in unmistakably clear terms that the United States would use military force to strike Iran should it violate the nuclear agreement and drive toward a nuclear weapon.

    Of course, Obama will state no such thing.

    By the way, Iran can drive to a nuclear weapon without violating the agreement.

    And even more important, it can research, (or experiment in manufacturing – North Korea actually did all the research already) how to make its use of nuclear explosive material more efficient, that is, how to get lower weight bombs, and obtain the missiles to deliver them.

      “Of course, Obama will state no such thing.”

      Of course he can. He just won’t actually follow through. See Syria.

      jayjerome66 in reply to Sammy Finkelman. | September 2, 2015 at 2:45 pm

      In his letter to Congress on Aug 19th Obama said he’d deploy military options if needed to deter Iranian aggression. He wrote:

      “Should Iran seek to dash toward a nuclear weapon, all of the options available to the United States — including the military option — will remain available through the life of the deal and beyond.”

      http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/21/world/middleeast/in-letter-obama-tells-congress-us-will-still-press-iran.html

      But that doesn’t mean anything, as he’ll be out of office before Iran’s duplicity in following the terms of the agreement is discovered. The next President is the one who will be required to act.

      But the agreement/treaty is a red herring. Iran certainly already has nukes, primitive Nagasaki-Hiroshima type bombs, sequestered away in various places.

      As far back as the mid 1970s articles were published describing the ease with which those bombs could be constructed. If the US was able to build four or five from scratch in the 1940s, with only a handful of cyclotrons to spin the nuclear grade core material, it’s reasonable to assume Iran, with dozens of cyclotrons at its disposal over the past decades, has already produced them. Israel was building thermonuclear devices by the mid 1960s; it’s naive to think Iran after all this time hasn’t been able to do so as well.

      If I’m right, Iran has been playing us and the other powers, gaming the negotiations all along. For two years now we’ve been hearing stories that they’re on the brink of building a nuke, the scheduled deadline constantly moving from X number of weeks-months-years. But if they already have nukes, it would be in Iran’s interest to hide that, and make it seem like they’re on the verge, but will stop the process to get the boycotts lifted. Which they’ve accomplished.

      They may not yet have sophisticated grade nukes or launching devices or missiles, but implosion type nukes can be launched via submarine (Iran has more than 100 subs, the present location of many unknown) or put on a small motorboat that drone-like can be controlled and detonated via shortwave radio.

        Sammy Finkelman in reply to jayjerome66. | September 2, 2015 at 4:35 pm

        For two years now we’ve been hearing stories that they’re on the brink of building a nuke, the scheduled deadline constantly moving from X number of weeks-months-years. But if they already have nukes, it would be in Iran’s interest to hide that, and make it seem like they’re on the verge, but will stop the process to get the boycotts lifted. Which they’ve accomplished.

        I think the assumption of how much Iran needs for a bomb is based on their not being able to duplicate what the United States did in 1945, with regard to the trigger mechanism and the amount of enriched uranium needed for one bomb – but they are the beneficiary of North Korea’s technology.

        An inspection of Parchin and query of their scientists could tell us where they are with this, and how much they need for one bomb, and how destructive the bomb would be.

        The assumption may be they are using the inefficient gun method. The Hiroshima bomb used 141 lb or 64 kg of uranium with an average enrichment of 80% or 112 lb 51 KG of U-235. Only 1% of the U-235 underwent fission.

        See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_weapon_design

        Iran probably doesn’t want to do that. And they probably don’t want just one nuclear bomb. The U.S. would assume also they would want to test one, to see if they built it right and what explosive force it had.

        Milhouse in reply to jayjerome66. | September 2, 2015 at 4:57 pm

        I’ve been assuming for years that they obtained a bomb or two during the confusion around USSR’s collapse, and every US president and Israeli PM finds out about it in their first briefing after taking office. They’re using this bomb as insurance, while they build their research program so they can start producing their own bombs.

        Sammy Finkelman in reply to jayjerome66. | September 2, 2015 at 5:01 pm

        All nuclear bombs built nowadays have much more destructive power than the Hiroshima bomb. When someone in Iran talked about Israel being a one-bomb country, he probably wasn’t thinking of a Hiroshima-type bomb, but something more destructive, with a greater radius of destruction. We’re not talking about hydrogen bombs, just fission bombs.

        By the way, I recall North Korea tested one where it is thought they expected a much bigger explosion:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_North_Korean_nuclear_test

        It was less than half a kiloton, compared to the bomb used at Hiroshima, which had about 15 kilotons.

        You may be right, Iran may actually have enough highly enough enriched uranium for a bomb or two or three, but they want bigger atomic bombs, and better bombs, that weigh less than what they could do now. And they may enough to test it.

    The president can’t veto single-house resolutions, but he can veto joint resolutions. There just isn’t usually any point in doing so, since he’s free to ignore them anyway. But if he wants to make a point, he can indeed veto them.

I’m beginning to wonder what sort of trade sanctions the World will want to impose on Saudi Arabia as they go ahead with their nuclear program to balance Iran.

    Xand3791 in reply to windyfir. | September 2, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    Saudi Arabia may not need to do research. There is a belief that SA financed a large portion of Pakastan’s nuclear program under an agreement that Pakastan would provide the nuclear weapons if SA ever needed/wanted a nuclear arsenal.
    Combine this with the recent story about Pakastan working to add a significant number of nuclear warheads to their arsenal, and SA may become an instant member of the nuclear club.

      Xand3791 in reply to Xand3791. | September 2, 2015 at 2:27 pm

      Don’t ask me why I spelled Pakistan with an “a” in that last post. I read through it after I posted it and cringed, heh.

Skip the resolution, which Obama will veto anyway. Insist Obama put it up for a ratification vote. When that fails the deal is nothing more than an executive declaration.

    Milhouse in reply to tkc882. | September 2, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    Which is exactly what it is now, so what would be the point?

    Besides which, insist how? The senate can’t make the president request its consent for a private deal that he has the full authority to implement on his own.

    ConradCA in reply to tkc882. | September 2, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    Look at the constitution and you will realize that the Senate’s power of consent doesn’t depend on the actions of the President. They can chose to have a ratification vote without the President submitting this treaty to the Senate.

      Milhouse in reply to ConradCA. | September 2, 2015 at 3:19 pm

      Look at the constitution and you will realize that the Senate’s power of consent doesn’t depend on the actions of the President.

      Yes, it does. The concept of consent requires having been asked. If you haven’t been asked, you can’t say yes or no, because what are you consenting or not consenting to?

      They can chose to have a ratification vote without the President submitting this treaty to the Senate.

      Even if they could, what would it achieve? Of course they would not consent. Well, they haven’t consented now. Everyone agrees they haven’t consented. So how would a vote change anything?

Just a little nudge reminder to the Demolishocrats: Have you noticed that when Iranians brazenly protest with effigies and placards loudly proclaiming “Death to America” they don’t throw in any qualifiers or exemptions such as “#BlackLivesMatter”?

“We Will All Go Together When We Go”

Constant failure fron the Republican leadership. I’m beginning to think we’d lose even if we had 58 senators.

    Milhouse in reply to PhillyGuy. | September 2, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    What do you imagine the Republican leadership can do about this, without the support of 14 D senators and 44 D reps?

      PhillyGuy in reply to Milhouse. | September 2, 2015 at 3:51 pm

      I was being facetious. Republican leadership talks a good game but fails at almost everything they do.

        Milhouse in reply to PhillyGuy. | September 2, 2015 at 3:58 pm

        On this matter they’ve done everything they can do. If you think they haven’t, tell us what you think they could do to stop this, that they aren’t already doing.

What I don’t understand is why hasn’t a Senator who voted against the “law” to allow the whole Congress to vote on this going to court to get an injunction on the grounds that this law unconstitutionally violates the Senates privilege to ratify treaties? This is clearly a treaty, isn’t it? How is it not a treaty? If so, a Senator surely has standing to bring suit, no?

    ConradCA in reply to Daryle. | September 2, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    The Corker amendment authorises the President to end sanctions on Iran. The Senate could still reject this treaty if they chose to have a vote on ratification. The problem is that they are kowtowing to Tyrant Obama the Liar.

      Milhouse in reply to ConradCA. | September 2, 2015 at 3:12 pm

      The Corker amendment authorises the President to end sanctions on Iran.

      That is a blatant, deliberate lie. You know very well that the president has always had this power. The Corker amendment takes that power away for 60 days, plus another 10 days after a veto. That’s not great, but it’s something. It was originally going to permanently remove the power, but they couldn’t get enough votes to override a veto, so this was the compromise 0bama agreed to.

    Milhouse in reply to Daryle. | September 2, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    1. No, it’s not a treaty. It could be a treaty, if the president were to propose it to the senate, and the senate were to consent. But that isn’t going to happen, so it isn’t one. Without the senate’s consent it’s just a piece of paper, a private agreement between Mr B. H. 0bama and some other people, not official business of the USA.

    2. No senator has standing to speak for the whole senate.

    3. There’s no way a court would intervene, because it’s a political question.

    The key point here is that he has only agreed to do things that he has the authority to do on his own, so he doesn’t need anybody’s consent. If he had agreed to do something that required a change in the law, then he would have to submit it either as a treaty or as a statute, depending on which way he thought it more likely to pass.

      Sammy Finkelman in reply to Milhouse. | September 2, 2015 at 4:22 pm

      Iran also insisted that it not be called a treaty.

      It’s a “Plan of Action”

      It’s good only as long as everybody who agreed to it, continues to agree to it.

      Separately, there’s a United Nations Security Council resolution that takes away the sanctions imposed by half a dozen United Nations Security Council resolutions as soon as the International atomic Energy Agency files a report that Iran has done something, I’m not sure what, with regard to reducing its stockpile of fissile materials and plugged in centrifuges.

      Work on reducing the amount of fissile material necessary to build a bomb equivalent to X kilotons of TNT, or work on missiles is irrelevant, not to mention Iranian support for terrorism or war.

      Obama says the negotiating genie can grant only one wish, and the most important thing is blocking the path of Iran to a nuclear weapon, which seems to translate into Iran having less enriched uranium and no plutonium, but not no centrifuges, and neither does it mean no work on all parts of a bomb not requiring the nuclear fuel itself, or on long range delivery systems. And it has an expiration date.

      There are also the EU sanctions, which are separately removed.

      And there’s a procedure for re-instating the sanctions, although maybe not cancelling ongoing contracts, without the re-instatement having to face a Russian or Chinese veto.

      It might even be re-imposed by action of the United States alone, although that would probably end Iranian participation in the agreement.

What is wrong with Mitch McConnell?
No fight? No ingenuity? No commitment?

This is a VERY serious question.

    ConradCA in reply to clafoutis. | September 2, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    McConnell has the power to kill this “agreement” the problem is that he has chosen to help Tyrant Obama the Liar ram his “Help Iran Build Nuclear Weapons” agreement down the throats of the American people. Someone should ask him why he is betraying the country? What does the Tyrant have on him?

    When you actually read the constitution where it specifies the Senate’s power of consent for treaties it’s clear that this power is completely independent of the president. It doesn’t matter what he calls his treaties or if he refuses to submit them to the Senate for ratification. The Senate can decide that this “agreement” is a treaty requiring their consent and hold a vote on ratification This is agreement is so bad it would be easily killed and there is nothing that the Tyrant can do to stop them.

    It would be great if you could do an article exploring the Senate’s power of consent. Even better if you can get Senator McConnell’s justification for his refusal to exercise this power.

      Milhouse in reply to ConradCA. | September 2, 2015 at 3:54 pm

      McConnell has the power to kill this “agreement”

      No, he doesn’t.

      When you actually read the constitution where it specifies the Senate’s power of consent for treaties it’s clear that this power is completely independent of the president.

      You are lying. The senate has no independent treaty power. Treaties aren’t even mentioned in Article 1, except in Section 10, which forbids states from entering into them. The treaty power is an Article 2 power, and belongs entirely to the president, except that if he wants to make a treaty he needs the consent of 2/3 of the senate. If he doesn’t want to make a treaty then the senate has no role.

      It doesn’t matter what he calls his treaties or if he refuses to submit them to the Senate for ratification. The Senate can decide that this “agreement” is a treaty requiring their consent and hold a vote on ratification.

      No, it cannot, any more than it can hold a confirmation vote on an appointment the president hasn’t made.

      This is agreement is so bad it would be easily killed and there is nothing that the Tyrant can do to stop them.

      It would not be killed. Even if the president did submit it to the senate, and it failed, it would still be no deader than it is now. He would still be able to implement it just as he can now. That is what you refuse to acknowledge, even though you know it’s true.

i just hope they are all in town the day DC sprouts a mushroom cloud

    Milhouse in reply to redc1c4. | September 2, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    It won’t be DC. It’ll be Tel Aviv, and they won’t care. They’ll put up a memorial for all the dead Jews, and perhaps a museum, and they’ll make some speeches, and that will be that.

      Sammy Finkelman in reply to Milhouse. | September 2, 2015 at 5:03 pm

      The way things are going, they might want to try it out on Raqqa first, or on an advancing army near Damascus.

      IrateNate in reply to Milhouse. | September 2, 2015 at 8:47 pm

      You are correct. DC will not be the first target. but it will be a target – you can count on it. hope and change…..

    Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to redc1c4. | September 2, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    Well to paraphrase some pants suit wearing Demie,
    “We got to blow up the nuclear bomb to see what’s in the deal!”

Subotai Bahadur | September 2, 2015 at 6:25 pm

Now that Mikulski has declared, expect Mitch McConnell to declare that he will give up opposing the Obama-Iran Nuclear Alliance because he does not have the votes and there is no point in opposing it. We have history to show he will do this.

    Sammy Finkelman in reply to Subotai Bahadur. | September 2, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    The difference with cutting off funding to Planned Parenthood, is that letting it end with a veto that is not overridden, shuts down the government. The Republicans could not maintain their point.

Font Resize
Contrast Mode
Send this to a friend