White House Brushes Off Chuck Schumer’s Iran Deal Rejection – ABC News
The Obama administration is confident it can get enough Democrats on Capitol Hill to support the Iran deal, despite prominent rejections of the deal from Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, and other members, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said today.
“I would describe this as an announcement that was not particularly surprising to anyone here at the White House, even if it was disappointing,” Earnest said. “But it doesn’t change our confidence that we’ll be able to mobilize a substantial majority of Democrats both in the House and in the Senate in support of the deal and if necessary.”
Schumer, a senior Democrat next-in-line to replace Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, was a top White House target in the Iran deal lobbying campaign. His support would’ve lent legitimacy to the deal in the pro-Israel community.
Instead, he became the the first Democratic senator — and fifth New York City-area Democratic lawmaker — to oppose it Thursday night, citing concerns that the deal would not do enough to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions and sponsorship of terror.
“After deep study, careful thought and considerable soul-searching, I have decided I must oppose the agreement and will vote yes on a motion of disapproval,” he wrote in a blog post.
Schumer had been under consistent pressure in New York by pro-Israel supporters of the deal. Anti-deal groups have run television ads in New York markets for weeks, urging area lawmakers to vote against the agreement. Protestors have rallied against the deal in Times Square and outside Schumer’s Manhattan office, where one New York state assemblyman was arrested for obstruction.
Schumer notified the White House of his decision before making his announcement, Earnest said. He did not say whether he would vote to override President Obama’s veto of the congressional resolution of disapproval, which is expected to pass.
Opponents of the deal need 13 Democrats in the Senate and 43 in the House to vote to override Obama’s veto to kill the deal.
Rep. Brad Sherman, D-California, another pro-Israel member, announced today that he would also vote against the deal, becoming the 9th House Democrat to publicly oppose the agreement.
Sherman plans to propose additional sanctions on Iran next month to target its non-nuclear behavior, according to his statement.