Reports: Senate’s Iranian sanctions bill approaching a veto-proof majority?

posted at 2:41 pm on January 10, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

As of Thursday, the tally of senators officially throwing their support behind the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act was up to 56 — news with which the White House was most put out.

“If certain members of Congress want the United States to take military action, they should be up front with the American public and say so,” Bernadette Meehan, National Security Council spokeswoman, said in a statement. “Otherwise, it’s not clear why any member of Congress would support a bill that possibly closes the door on diplomacy and makes it more likely that the United States will have to choose between military options or allowing Iran’s nuclear program to proceed.”

As predicted, however, the momentum is only continuing to build behind the cautionary measure, and Friday saw the new count go up to a definitive 59 — and multiple reports are suggesting that an actual vote could see support ranging well past the 67 votes the bill would need to overcome the White House’s veto.

The bipartisan proposal introduced by Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Illinois, now has 59 senators who have formally committed to support it, a senior Senate aide tells CNN.

But the aide said that the current informal count is even higher – at 77 yes votes – and that more are expected to come on board once the undecided are forced to vote.

The bill could come to the Senate floor for consideration during the week of President Obama’s State of the Union address on January 28 or the following week, the aide said.

The WFB corroborates that count, and adds that even Sen. Rand Paul’s team is not ruling out his support, either. That would leave Sen. Jeff Flake as the lone Senate Republican yet to take a stance on the measure so vehemently opposed by the White House as a disruption to their peace-in-our-time foreign-policy designs:

A senior Paul staffer told the Washington Free Beacon that Paul is keeping “an open mind on the bill.”

“Sen. Paul has not said he wouldn’t support it in a vote,” the Paul aide told the Free Beacon. “He has supported previous sanctions, and believes they have helped bring Iran to the [negotiating] table.” …

A senior Senate aide additionally confirmed to the Free Beacon a CNN report that a veto-proof threshold of 77 senators now support the sanctions measure.

Senate sources said there are signs that at least 34 Democrats will vote in favor of the bill when it finally comes up for a vote.

Bipartisanship, ya’ll.

Update: Today’s press briefing got real, via Fox’s Ed Henry: “You’re basically accusing Democrats like Bob Menendez of wanting to go to war. Is that really a fair characterization?”


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A senior Senate aide additionally confirmed to the Free Beacon a CNN report that a veto-proof threshold of 77 senators now support the sanctions measure.

I find it extremely hard to believe that many Democrats are going to defy Obama. They must be terrified about the 2014 elections.

Johnnyreb on January 10, 2014 at 2:46 PM

It’s a trap.

Senate Democrats up for election will use it as a “we broke from Obama’s ranks” moment.

Obama will unilaterally “delay” enforcement of the sanctions.

blammm on January 10, 2014 at 2:49 PM

Too bad this doesn’t happen with healthcare and amnesty.
o/t, but it looks like McCain is going to go for another six years. In the headlines.

AllahsNippleHair on January 10, 2014 at 2:56 PM

The military establishment can only give so much hardware to da local popo…. their pals need new orders to prosper…. it’s economic development ….don’t cha know…… lets get on with da kill’n …….. what we wait’n fo….. an invitation R sumptin.

roflmmfao

donabernathy on January 10, 2014 at 2:58 PM

The WFB corroborates that count, and adds that even Sen. Rand Paul’s team is not ruling out his support, either. That would leave Sen. Jeff Flake as the lone Senate Republican yet to take a stance on the measure so vehemently opposed by the White House as a disruption to their peace-in-our-time foreign-policy designs:

I would love to see Obama be humiliated like this, but even if the sanctions pass he is just going to ignore Congress and refuse to impose them. He is basically operating outside the law at this point because the Republicans refuse to check him.

Doomberg on January 10, 2014 at 3:02 PM

…so what’s Dirty Harry…going to do?

KOOLAID2 on January 10, 2014 at 3:04 PM

I find it extremely hard to believe that many Democrats are going to defy Obama. They must be terrified about the 2014 elections.

Johnnyreb on January 10, 2014 at 2:46 PM

.
The lies told by the SCOAMF’s congressional liason people can be easily refuted by comparatively transparent briefings by Israeli and Saudi “diplomatic” personnel.

“Middle East goes BOOM! Oil at $ 200/barrel and climbing!”

… are headlines that will ruin everyone’s chances for reelection.

PolAgnostic on January 10, 2014 at 3:08 PM

But will it be Executive Order proof?

Flange on January 10, 2014 at 3:11 PM

Kudos to Henry! This sniveling hot chocolate drinking Carney and his boss want Israel to be vaporized and the US to be a third world country….wait a minute-we already are.

PeaceAtAllCosts on January 10, 2014 at 3:35 PM

Too bad this doesn’t happen with healthcare and amnesty.
o/t, but it looks like McCain is going to go for another six years. In the headlines.

AllahsNippleHair on January 10, 2014 at 2:56 PM

…if that happens by the people of Arizona again…I’ll be shitting through their computer screens!

KOOLAID2 on January 10, 2014 at 3:36 PM

I would love to see Obama be humiliated like this, but even if the sanctions pass he is just going to ignore Congress and refuse to impose them. He is basically operating outside the law at this point because the Republicans refuse to check him.

Doomberg on January 10, 2014 at 3:02 PM

What would you have the Republicans do?

Articles of Impeachment? DOA in the Senate
Criminal or Civil suit? DOA if filed in the DOJ

What, exactly, is the Republcans recourse (other than screaming from the rooftops – the MSM will ignore them anyway)?

Mitoch55 on January 10, 2014 at 3:53 PM

Hmmm. Republican votes for sanction could be viewed as “political”.

COgirl on January 10, 2014 at 4:18 PM

Ha! I like Ed Henry. He’s like a thorn in Carney’s eyeball.

scalleywag on January 10, 2014 at 4:31 PM

I’m surprised that Carney even called on Ed Henry.

BTW, is Kid Carney tinting his peach fuzz?

GarandFan on January 10, 2014 at 5:26 PM