Washington (AFP) – The US Congress began tense deliberations Tuesday ahead of prospective votes on the Iran nuclear deal, as President Barack Obama gained sufficient Senate support to prevent Republicans’ last-gasp efforts to torpedo his accord.
As lawmakers returned from their summer recess, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would ask “all senators to be present in the chamber” to debate the merits and shortcomings of the international agreement aimed at preventing Iran from obtaining an atomic bomb.
Congress resumed just as the White House earned a major victory in securing support for the deal from 41 senators, the number needed to block a resolution disapproving of the controversial accord.
Senator Maria Cantwell, the lone undecided Democrat, joined the president’s camp late Tuesday, becoming the 42nd senator to back the agreement. Four Senate Democrats stand opposed.
Should 41 or more vote against advancing the Republican-backed resolution, a blocking procedure known as a filibuster, the effort to kill the landmark agreement would remain bogged down in the 100-member Senate.
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