With liberal groups furious over his opposition to the Iran nuclear deal, Sen. Chuck Schumer has been quietly reaching out to dozens of his colleagues to explain his decision and assure them he would not be whipping opposition to the deal, according to Democratic senators and aides.
After news of his decision to vote “no” on the Iran agreement first leaked Thursday night, Schumer (D-N.Y.) has spoken to 20 to 30 fellow Democrats about why he will vote with the GOP leadership against the deal, sources said. Schumer had been planning to make these calls on Friday, before his position on Iran became public, but was not able to do so because it had leaked the night before.
In these conversations, Schumer has been walking through his position on the Iran agreement, the product of lengthy negotiations between the leading world powers and the Iranian government.
Schumer, though, is not lobbying his colleagues to vote against the agreement when the Senate takes up a “resolution of disapproval” next month, several undecided senators said during interviews. The disapproval resolution is expected to win the 60 votes needed to overcome any Democratic filibuster.
The real question, however, is whether President Barack Obama can rally the 34 senators he needs to uphold a veto of the resolution. Right now, the Senate vote is too close to call, although Obama’s support for a veto override appears more solid among House Democrats, with three more coming out on Tuesday in favor of the agreement.