Obama Nets Votes Needed to Sustain Veto on Anti-Iran Deal Bills

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By Carrie Dann

President Barack Obama has secured the support of 34 Senate Democrats for the nuclear deal with Iran, ensuring sufficient backing to sustain his veto of any legislation aimed at derailing the agreement.

Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland on Wednesday became the 34th Senate lawmaker to announce that she’s supporting the deal negotiated with Iran and world powers earlier this year.

“No deal is perfect, especially one negotiated with the Iranian regime,” she said in a statement. “I have concluded that this Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is the best option available to block Iran from having a nuclear bomb.”

Related: The Iran Deal Whip Count: Where Does Your Senator Stand?

Momentum has been building in the White House’s favor all month. Just two Senate Democrats — Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York and Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey — have announced opposition to the measure, while all other Democrats have said that — despite some concerns with the agreement — it presents the best available option to prevent a nuclear threat from Iran.

Foes of the deal plan a vote on a measure disapproving of the agreement when Congress returns from its summer recess. Obama has been clear that he would veto that measure if it passed, and two-thirds of the Senate would have had to vote to override that veto. Now, the White House has secured enough Democratic support to ensure victory.

The next question will be whether or not Democrats muster sufficient support to block consideration of the measure entirely. If 41 senators back the Iran deal, Democrats will be able to filibuster legislation opposing it and block the disapproval measure from coming to the Senate floor.