President Obama has a liberal firewall in the House of Representatives as Nancy Pelosi has kept her Democrats together, and they are ready to deliver total victory for the president on the Iran deal.
But Obama’s backstop in the House, where the Democratic Caucus is dominated by liberals, is holding firm.Close to 40 House Democrats have come out in favor of the deal since it was first announced in mid-July, while 16 senators have voiced their support. And there are dozens of additional Democrats who’ve signaled in interviews and statements that they are inclined to back Obama’s deal, which aims to stop Tehran’s development of a nuclear weapon in exchange for lifting economic sanctions. Most notably, not one of the 151 House Democrats who signed a May letter in support of the broad outlines of the agreement have announced opposition to the final product.
House Democrats are resisting a multi-million dollar effort to turn them against the deal. The dye was cast long ago on the fate of the Iran deal because of two key factors.
House liberals were outraged when Speaker John Boehner attempted to humiliate President Obama by going behind his back and inviting Netanyahu to address Congress. Boehner and Netanyahu’s behavior backfired and unified House Democrats around their president. Any chance that Boehner had of getting Democratic votes for a resolution of disapproval of the Iran deal was destroyed the moment he disrespected the president.
The second factor is the structure of the agreement to allow a vote on the Iran deal. The White House made it nearly impossible to kill the Iran deal by only agreeing to give Congress the ability to pass a resolution of disapproval. President Obama knew that he would veto any resolution of disapproval and that the odds are practically zero that Republicans would be able to muster the two-thirds majority that would be needed to override his veto.
Chuck Schumer’s announcement of opposition to the deal has not been followed by a wave of Democrats joining him. It is doubtful that Mitch McConnell will be able to get enough votes in the Senate to override the president’s expected veto, but even if he does, Obama’s ironclad support in the House means that Republicans will lose.
There will be a great deal of media generated wringing of hands and speculative coverage of the Iran deal resolution vote, but the unless House Democrats budge, Obama wins no matter what else happens.
The president is well on his way towards achieving a major victory for peace, as House Democrats are signaling that they’ve got Obama’s back.