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Democrats Blast Schumer Threat to Kill Iran Deal

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). (Photo: Saul Loeb/Getty)

Democratic constituency groups opposed to war with Iran are furious that New York Democrat and Senate Minority Leader "heir apparent" Chuck Schumer is threatening to scuttle the possibility of a diplomatic agreement with Iran by supporting legislation - the Corker bill - that would allow Republicans in Congress to veto any deal. says:

Supporting reckless legislation that undermines President Obama's diplomacy with Iran and risks a dangerous, unnecessary war in the Middle East should disqualify anyone from leading the Senate Democratic caucus...Sen. Schumer needs to withdraw his support from the Corker and Menendez legislation.

CREDO Action says:

Starting a war with Iran is apparently the top legislative priority for the next leader of the Senate Democratic caucus.

Politico reported that Senator Chuck Schumer's first major move after locking down support to succeed Sen. Harry Reid as the Senate minority leader is to put his weight behind a bill that could block a final nuclear deal with Iran and would almost certainly put the U.S. on a path to war with Iran.

Politico reports:

In an open letter to Democratic leaders obtained by POLITICO, progressive groups MoveOn, CREDO, Democracy for America, Daily Kos and USAction say that the left will fight back if Senate Democrats supply 13 or more votes for bills that allow congressional review of the nuclear framework reached last week or ratchet up sanctions on Iran. Both bills are opposed by President Barack Obama, and the liberal groups warn they will "hold accountable" Democrats who back them.

Some are apparently trying to muddy the issue by claiming that supporting the Corker bill doesn't necessarily mean opposing any agreement:

A senior Democratic aide, however, argued that support for the Corker-Menendez bill doesn't translate to support for a resolution disapproving the final nuclear deal, which negotiators are expected to reach in June.

"It is very possible and, in fact, likely that there are Democrats who are supportive of the Corker bill because they believe in congressional review that would vote to sustain a deal if it's a good deal at the end of the day," the aide said.

This claim is, of course, totally disingenuous. If the Corker bill becomes law, then what should be considered a "good deal" or a "bad deal" that should be voted up or down will be determined by the Republican majority in the Senate and the House.

Forty-seven members of the Republican majority in the Senate signed the Tom Cotton letter to Iran threatening to scuttle any deal. House Speaker John Boehner invited Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress for the express purpose of attacking the deal and trying to scuttle it.

So a Democrat supporting the Corker bill is basically saying that Tom Cotton, John Boehner, and Benjamin Netanyahu should get to unilaterally determine what a "bad deal" is and shoot it down. But we already know what Cotton, Boehner, and Netanyahu will say, because they're already saying it now: it's a bad deal that should be shot down. If Cotton, Boehner, and Netanyahu get to veto a deal, we might as well pack it in on diplomacy and start getting ready for the next war.

If you don't agree that Cotton, Boehner, and Netanyahu should get to veto a deal with Iran, you can tell your Senators here. If you happen to live in the state of New York, you can reach Chuck Schumer here.

Robert Naiman

Robert Naiman

Robert Naiman is Policy Director at Just Foreign Policy. Naiman has worked as a policy analyst and researcher at the Center for Economic and Policy Research and Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch. He has masters degrees in economics and mathematics from the University of Illinois and has studied and worked in the Middle East. You can contact him here.

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