Reprinted from Wallwritings
Senator Charles Schumer, Democrat of New York and leader of the pro-Israel forces in the Senate, announced on August 6, that he would oppose President Obama's effort to gain congressional support for the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran.
At the time, Schumer's move was seen as a major setback for Obama. It did not work out this way. Three weeks later, Schumer has been joined by only one other Democratic senator, Robert Menendez, of New Jersey.
Instead of a rush to join the pro-Israel lobby forces in standing with Israel's opposition to the deal, the number of Democratic senators who favor the deal is growing.
Kirsten Gillibrand (above), the junior Democratic Senator from New York, came out in favor of the agreement on the same day as Schumer's announced opposition.
As an indication of how the mood in the Democratic Senate caucus is shifting toward favoring the agreement, Senator Gillibrand was an early supporter of the bill which might be described as the "kill the Iranian nuclear pact" legislation.
That bill, introduced in January, 2014, was co-authored by Illinois Republican Senator Mark Kirk and New Jersey's Senator Menendez.
Senator Gillibrand is now an announced supporter of the Iran nuclear agreement.
This past weekend, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) joined Gillibrand, by promising not only to vote in favor of the agreement, but pledging to do "everything in my power to ensure that it stands."
He has been joined by Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, Red State Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, of Missouri, and Tuesday, Senator Patty Murray of Washington State, announced her support of the deal.
If Reid and Minority Whip Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) can hold their Democratic caucus to fewer than six defections, Republicans will lack the votes to get the disapproval resolution the 60 votes it needs to clear the Senate. That would spare Obama from having to veto it.
In a Wall Writings posting on July 23, 2015, I wrote:
"In an analysis for Forward, Nathan Guttman, wrote: 'Thirteen U.S. Senators is all President Obama needs to ensure that the nuclear deal with Iran does not get derailed by Congress'."
The pro-Israel forces were targeting a specific 13 Democratic Senators as recently as July 24. The targeted 13 included Senator Schumer, now on the record as opposing, Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly, who has since announced his support of the agreement, and Oregon Senator Ron Wyden (below, left), whose Jewish parents fled Nazi Germany.
Senator Wyden remains undecided, but Portland House member Earl Blumenauer, a Wyden ally, has announced he would support the Iran deal. Oregon is a liberal state which also may weigh heavily on Wyden.
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