According to the math of some of those counting votes in Washington, Maine Senator Angus King’s announcement last night that he will vote in favor of the nuclear disarmament deal negotiated with Iran means that the proposal will almost certainly have enough support to sustain a veto by President Obama, meaning it will survive and go into effect even if the Republican-led Senate votes it down.
As Greg Sargent noted at the Washington Post on Tuesday, opponents of the deal would need to run the table, winning the support of all remaining uncommitted Democratic and independent senators, in order to stop the agreement. King’s announcement and the support of Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, announced earlier in the day, may foreclose that possibility.
As Politico notes, the new number to watch for is now 60, the number of Senators voting against the deal that would be required in order to overcome a filibuster. That move, however, would only delay the agreement until a veto is issued and upheld.
“First, if implemented effectively, the agreement will prevent Iran from achieving a nuclear weapon for at least 15 years and probably longer; second, at the end of that 15 years, if we take the right steps, we will have the same options we have today if Iran moves to build a bomb; and third, the current alternatives if the deal is rejected are either unrealistic or downright dangerous,” said King, explaining his reasoning for supporting the agreement in a speech from the Senate floor.