Thanks to Democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland (who will be retiring at the end of the 2016-2017 Congress), President Obama’s historical Iran nuclear deal will survive any negative Senate challenge. Mikulski is the 34th crucial vote, meaning should the Senate pass a resolution against the final deal, they could not override President Obama’s promised veto.
Said Mikulski, the longest serving female Senator in American history:
“Some have suggested we reject this deal and impose unilateral sanctions to force Iran back to the table. But maintaining or stepping up sanctions will only work if the sanction coalition holds together. It’s unclear if the European Union, Russia, China, India and others would continue sanctions if Congress rejects this deal. At best, sanctions would be porous, or limited to unilateral sanctions by the U.S.”
Meaning if the United States screws this up, everything is screwed up. Thanks to Mikulski, the Iran deal takes another step forward in securing diplomatic relations, giving peace a chance, denting Benjamin Netanyahu’s grip on Congress’ throat, and avoiding another war.
“There are also those who have proposed military action as an alternative to end Iran’s nuclear program. But taking military air strikes against Iran would only set the program back for three years. It would not terminate the program. Iran would continue to possess the knowledge of how to build a bomb and could redouble its resolve to obtain a weapon, completely unchecked.”
Next up: find seven more Senators to help filibuster Republican attempts at a disapproval. Senator Bon Corker of Tennessee, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is asking the Democrats not to filibuster, because he wants an up-or-down vote on the resolution. Should the Democrats find those seven more Senators, the resolution would never leave the Senate, and would force the two parties to reach an agreement preferable to the White House.
The options are as follows:
- Pass the resolution, stop Iran from advancing a nuclear program and lift burdensome sanctions that have crippled their economy.
- Shoot down the resolution and allow them to continue their nuclear program, which is exactly what Israel and the U.S. don’t want.
How the tables have turned. After years of unparalleled obstruction, the Republicans are asking the Democrats for some leniency. Normally we should promote cooperation, but when it comes to the future of United States diplomacy in the Middle East, Democrats should not budge an inch.
The majority of the American people want this deal with the Iranians. It’s time Republicans listen to those who aren’t foaming at the mouth for another war.
Featured image via video screen capture from a Mikulski speech