Top Democrats Jumping Ship on Iran Nuclear Deal
Democratic support for the nuclear deal with Iran appears to be dwindling. Top New York Sen. Chuck Schumer announced Thursday evening he will oppose the agreement.
And Schumer is not the only Democrat coming out against the deal.
The news comes as President Barack Obama is pushing hard for congressional approval of the accord.
Republicans are united in their opposition of the agreement, saying Iran can't be trusted and the U.S. and its allies could have reached a much better deal.
But the president disagrees and he defended the agreement in a major speech on Wednesday, making headlines when he compared hardliners in Iran to Republicans who oppose the deal.
"In fact, it's those hardliners who are most comfortable with the status quo," Obama opined. "It's those hardliners chanting 'Death to America' who have been most opposed to the deal. They're making common cause with the Republican caucus."
But it's not just Republicans opposing the plan.
Schumer, expected to be the next Democratic leader of the Senate, has become the first Senate Democrat to oppose the agreement.
"After deep study, careful thought and considerable soul-searching, I have decided I must oppose the agreement and will vote yes on a motion of disapproval," the New York lawmaker said.
"In making my decision, I examined this deal in three parts: nuclear restrictions on Iran in the first 10 years, nuclear restrictions on Iran after 10 years, and non-nuclear components and consequences of a deal," he explained. "In each case I have asked: Are we better off with the agreement or without it?"
Schumer's no-vote hurts the president's efforts to win support of Senate Democrats.
But other Democrats have also voiced concerns.
Rep. Eliot Engle, D-N.Y., the leading Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has also come out against the deal, despite a one-on-one meeting with the president last week.
Congress is set to vote on the agreement next month.