Newspaper article Roll Call

11 Senators to Watch in Iran Debate

Newspaper article Roll Call

11 Senators to Watch in Iran Debate

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11 Senators to Watch in Iran Debate

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* By Rachel Oswald

* CQ Roll Call Staff

* Sept. 3, 2015, 7 a.m.

CQ Roll Call took a look at how each of the 11 undecided senators may come out on the Iran nuclear deal and whether the agreement should be filibustered. The assessment is based on the senators' legislative histories, statements, re-election prospects and constituent concerns.

Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo.

Bennet signed on as an early co-sponsor of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (PL 114-17), which could be interpreted as a sign that he supports Congress making its voice heard on the deal even if he ultimately decides to personally support it and the president's veto.

He is up for re-election in 2016 in a swing state.

Even though Bennet made some hawkish statements during his tenure as chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee for the 2014 elections, "he is a leaning 'yes' in my whip sheet," said Jamal Abdi, executive director of NIAC Action, a group created by the National Iranian American Council to advocate for the nuclear accord.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.

Blumenthal was an early co-sponsor of the Iran review act as well as a co-sponsor of the most recent Iran sanctions legislation (S.269) from Sens. Mark S. Kirk, R-Ill., and Robert Menendez, D- N.J.

"I'm counting him as leaning for but I would not take that to the bank," Abdi said.

Larry Kudlow, a CNBC contributor and a conservative, has threatened to run against Blumenthal next year if he supports the Iran deal.

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.

Booker is seen as somebody who wants to be a progressive leader in the Democratic Party and who has national aspirations, which would make it difficult to go against a nuclear deal that the liberal party base and the current president are ardently backing.

At the same time, Booker hails from a state with a very well- organized, vocal pro-Israel community that has come out strongly against the deal. …

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