Senior Democratic senator Chuck Schumer indicated Monday he would back legislation allowing Congress to vet and approve a deal with Iran over its nuclear program — a bill strongly opposed by the White House.
Schumer endorsed a bill sponsored by Sen. Bob Corker (Rep.) and Bob Menendez (NJ) which would give Capitol Hill the authority to reject a White House-brokered accord with Tehran, signalling a potential standoff between President Barack Obama and senior lawmakers in his own Democratic Party over the deal.
“This is a very serious issue that deserves careful consideration, and I expect to have a classified briefing in the near future. I strongly believe Congress should have the right to disapprove any agreement and I support the Corker bill which would allow that to occur,” Schumer told Politico Monday.
The move will enable other Democrat senators to support the bill and still save face despite vehement opposition from the White House, analysts say, meaning the legislation will garner Congress’s support from both sides of the partisan divide.
Schumer is slated to replace Harry Reid (Nev.) as Senate Democratic leader at the end of next year.
A number of other Democratic senators signaled they too will endorse the legislation, including Tim Kaine (Va.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Bill Nelson (Fla.), Michael Bennet (Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) and Bob Menendez (NJ) — the latter who was indicted last week on corruption charges.