The White House on Friday expressed “confidence” that it has the support in Congress necessary to sustain a veto of a resolution to reject the Iran nuclear agreement.
“We’ve got some momentum built up on our side,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest was quoted as having said at a briefing, referring to the 30 Senators who have publicly announced support for the deal.
Deal supporters need 34 of the 100 senators or 146 members of the 435-seat House to sustain a veto.
Earnest’s comments came as Democratic Senator Tom Carper of Delawareannounced his support for the agreement, making him the 30th senator to support the deal ahead of an expected Congressional showdown.
So far, only two Senate Democrats — New York’s Chuck Schumer and New Jersey’s Bob Menendez — have announced that they will vote against the deal, though several key Democratic senators have yet to announce their position.
Earlier this week, Republican Bob Menendez, who chairs the Foreign RelationsCommittee and is a leading voice against the deal, acknowledged that the White House lobbying campaign for the Iran nuclear deal has generated results, and said he doesn’t know if opponents of the deal can prevail.
Earnest also told reporters on Wednesday that the Obama administration is focused on building enough support for the Iran deal to keep Congress from “spoiling” the agreement.
“There are several indications that we are succeeding in our effort to build support in Congress,” he said.