Newspaper article Roll Call

Iran Deal Faces Test in Congress (Updated)

Newspaper article Roll Call

Iran Deal Faces Test in Congress (Updated)

Article excerpt

Updated 9:55 a.m. | President Barack Obama's Iran deal will face a moment of truth in Congress within the next three months, but seems very likely to clear that hurdle.

Under the law Congress passed to ensure its review of any Iran deal, opponents of the deal have to be able to override a veto on a disapproval resolution to stop it from going into effect. That's a tall order, with 290 House votes and 67 in the Senate needed to assure an override.

The 60-day review period begins once all of the paperwork gets submitted to Congress, per a statement from Sen. Bob Corker, R- Tenn. That delay would be extended by up to 12 days if the House and Senate send a joint resolution to the president, and Congress would have 10 more days after that to consider an override.

The bottom line: Unless Democrats abandon the president wholesale, the deal will stick.

The administration is already declaring any congressional effort that would block the deal pointless because the world coalition would not hold together to maintain sanctions on Iran.

One senior administration official said a vote to kill the deal is, in effect, "a vote to kill the sanctions regime" as a result.

After the review period, Obama can waive the sanctions on his own -- and other sanctions can be waived via the United Nations Security Council, which has imposed a host of sanctions over the past decade aimed at Iran's nuclear program.

For the president, it's a moment that his administration has been hoping for since the beginning -- a signature diplomatic achievement that validates, in the administration's view, the use of diplomatic power, and his oft-repeated line during the 2008 campaign that the United States should never be afraid of talking to its enemies.

"Every pathway to a nuclear weapon is cut off, and the inspection and transparency regime necessary to verify that objective will be put in place," Obama said. (Read the full transcript here.) "Because of this deal, Iran will not produce the highly enriched uranium and weapons-grade plutonium that form the raw materials necessary for a nuclear bomb. …

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