By Thomas Lodico
As the month of July comes to a close and Congress goes home for its summer recess, President Obama and his administration will continue in their hard-fought efforts to have Congress approve the Iran deal when they return from the summer recess. Now that the deal has been approved by all countries involved, there is a 60-day Congressional debate on whether to approve the agreement, which is a full 40 days longer than the original review period since Secretary John Kerry and his staff hit some delays towards the tail end of the Vienna negotiations. The White House plans an aggressive media push across the country, both broadly and towards specific areas such as African American and Hispanic districts.
The main way of accomplishing such a goal would be to maintain or gain the support of at least one third of the members of Congress. Congress as a whole has the ability to reject the Iran Deal but President Obama has the ability to veto such a proposal. With one third of congress siding with him on the deal, this would have the implication of Congress not being able to override his veto with a two third majority.
There is currently some support from Senators and Congresspeople, most of them Democrats, as the Republican Party has come out against any proposed deal with Iran, claiming that the deal would strengthen Iran economically, while not addressing its role as a major sponsor of international terrorism. On the other end of the spectrum, many progressives see this as a vote between going to war or keeping the peace.
The Obama Administration has to be able to appeal to a broad base of voters to secure congressional approval, in addition to which they need to be able to appeal to members who are still not sure how they will vote on the matter while making sure they do not lose votes from members who could be persuaded another way. The fact of the matter is that much like the Obama Administration, opponents of the agreement will also use media outlets and urge members to vote their way on the proposed deal.
These votes could come down to slim majorities and without this deal being passed, the Obama Administration would lose on their key foreign policy issue.