Republicans are expect to pass a resolution of disapproval of the agreement this month, which Obama will in turn veto. Only one-third of lawmakers in either chamber would be required to uphold that veto (because two-thirds majorities in both would be necessary to override it).
The crucial 34th commitment came Wednesday from retiring Democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski. She released a statement saying that “no deal is perfect, especially one negotiated with the Iranian regime,” but that the current deal is “the best option available to block Iran from having a nuclear bomb.”
Secretary of State John Kerry defended the deal, insisting that its passage bodes well for the status of diplomacy not only between the U.S. and Iran, but with the rest of the world. “Rejecting this agreement would not be sending a signal of resolve to Iran, it would be broadcasting a message so puzzling that most people across the globe would find it impossible to comprehend,” he said in a speech at the National Constitution Center.
On the other side of the political aisle, the reaction to the newest development has been understandably grim. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell admitted defeat, sarcastically giving Obama credit for obtaining “the tepid, restricted and partisan support of one-third of one house of Congress.” Several Republican presidential candidates have also seized on the news to remind the public that they will take the opposite approach if elected to the Oval Office in 2016.
When I'm President, we won't just reverse President Obama's dangerous Iran deal. We will increase sanctions on Iran.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) September 2, 2015
Iran stands to gain plenty from the agreement, which would lift sanctions worth billions of dollars in return for a promise to limit its nuclear program to producing only domestic energy sources. The deal has drawn severe condemnation from Israel, which argues that the deal would still leave Iran dangerously close to producing nuclear weaponry while also increasing the amount of funds available to a notorious aggressor and terrorism sympathizer in the region.