In a lengthy statement outlining her reasons for supporting the deal and the research she undertook to evaluate its merits, Mikulski says military action should be considered only as a last resort and that airstrikes would only deter the Iranians temporarily.
Republicans and Israeli officials contend that concessions made to Iran could enable the country to wreak havoc throughout the Middle East.
He explained that the Senate could argue that the agreement is actually a treaty that is required to go through the ratification process – requiring a two-thirds majority of the Senate to vote for it.
Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts are also speaking out about the deal.
Under those conditions Congress would have virtually no pathway to block implementation of the deal with Iran. If the House considers a resolution of disapproval similar to the one under discussion among senators, the minority party’s House leader, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, has vowed her bloc will muster enough votes to sustain any vote on the Iran issue.
Still, Warner said, he would support efforts “to shore-up (the deal’s) weaker points”.
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner criticized the deal will “embolden” Iran and trigger a atomic arms race.
The letter was sent as Kerry defended the Iran deal in a speech in Philadelphia.
“I feel like it’s the best chance for full engagement and to prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon,” said Jason Crow, an Iraq and Afghanistan War Veteran, who spoke at the Capitol. But the United Nations Security Council endorsed the nuclear deal unanimously in July and outlined how it would lift global sanctions on Iran. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland became the crucial 34th vote to secure a victory for the Obama administration.
Only two Senate Democrats have come out in opposition to the deal – Chuck Schumer of New York, and his New Jersey colleague, Robert Menendez. “But maintaining or stepping up sanctions will only work if the sanction coalition holds together”, Mikulski, the longest serving female senator in history, said in a statement. “It will lengthen Iran’s potential break-out time (to create a bomb), and will not preclude the US and our global partners from responding with all means at our disposal should there be a need to do so”.
But supporters’ ability to block a disapproval resolution vote in the Senate remains far from certain.