The Obama administration’s attempt to garner support from members of Congress for the Iran deal has yielded mixed results so far. One veteran House member has publicly announced his support for the deal and could lead others to do the same.
Democratic Rep. Sandy Levin of Michigan, the longest serving Jewish member currently in Congress, announced his support for the Iran deal on July 28.
“I believe that Israel, the region and the world are far more secure if Iran does not move toward possession of a nuclear weapon. I believe the Agreement is the best way to achieve that,” Levin wrote in a statement posted on his website.
The Obama administration likely considers Levin’s support a major success and hopes that it will allow other skeptical Democrats to support the deal, as well. Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, likely seen as the heir to retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, has yet to decide whether he will support the deal or not, CNN noted.
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The White House has had a tough time “selling” the deal to members of Congress, pro-Israel groups and the American public. In a new poll conducted by CNN, 52 percent of Americans want Congress to vote down the Iran deal while 44 percent believed the deal should be passed by lawmakers.
Right now, the proposal is in a 60-day review session for lawmakers to read and review the specifics of the deal. In order to override President Barack Obama’s expected veto to their initial decision to vote down the deal, Senate Republicans will need 13 Democrats to join them to have the final say.
Levin’s support falls on the same day that three Obama cabinet members were asked questions by ranking officials of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Republican Rep. Ed Royce of California and Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel of New York both led the charge, with Engel’s concerns more apparent, The Hill noted.
“My fundamental concern is that 15 years from now, Iran will be off the hook,” Engel said.
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You can read Levin’s full statement here.