The Cable

Michigan Senator Edges White House Closer to Win on Iran Deal

Another key Democrat came out in support of the Iran nuclear agreement on Monday, moving President Barack Obama’s administration closer to a political victory that would ensure veto-proof backing in Congress for the landmark accord. Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow endorsed the deal a day after the Senate’s top Democrat, Minority Leader Harry Reid, declared his ...

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 03: Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) leads a tour of the Capitol October 3, 2013 in Washington, DC. Due to Capitol tour guides being furloughed, Senator Stabenow gave students from St. Patrick's School in White Lake, Michigan a tour of the Captitol's Rotunda. Congressional Democrats and Republicans remain gridlocked on funding appropriations for the federal government as the shutdown enters its third day. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 03: Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) leads a tour of the Capitol October 3, 2013 in Washington, DC. Due to Capitol tour guides being furloughed, Senator Stabenow gave students from St. Patrick's School in White Lake, Michigan a tour of the Captitol's Rotunda. Congressional Democrats and Republicans remain gridlocked on funding appropriations for the federal government as the shutdown enters its third day. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Another key Democrat came out in support of the Iran nuclear agreement on Monday, moving President Barack Obama’s administration closer to a political victory that would ensure veto-proof backing in Congress for the landmark accord.

Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow endorsed the deal a day after the Senate’s top Democrat, Minority Leader Harry Reid, declared his support for the agreement — a major win for the White House as it fights to head off an attempt to derail the accord.

Stabenow became the 28th senator to back the deal.

And that leaves the U.S. administration only six votes short of the 34 required to uphold a veto from Obama, which he is expected to issue once the Republican majority in Congress votes to reject the accord next month.

So far, only two Democratic senators have come out against the accord – Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York and Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey.

For opponents, including powerful pro-Israel lobbying groups such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the chances of prevailing in the political battle to scrap the agreement are fading. Instead, AIPAC and other groups are increasingly focused on a symbolic step to underline opposition to the accord, hoping to secure 60 “no” votes needed to overcome a Democratic filibuster. That would require at least four more Democrats to come out against the deal, and Stabenow had been seen as a potential “no” vote.

Stabenow explained her decision in a lengthy statement posted on Twitter, saying the accord — which would impose limits on Iran’s nuclear program in return for lifting economic sanctions — had flaws but represented the best chance to prevent Iran from getting the bomb.

Photo credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images

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