It appears the Iran Deal now has enough votes to secure its passage, making the following announcement bittersweet.
Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) became the fourth Democratic senator to publicly oppose the Obama administration's nuclear agreement with Iran. He announced his decision Tuesday during a conference call with reporters:
"I could not ignore the fact that Iran, the country that will benefit most from sanctions being lifted, refuses to change its 36-year history of sponsoring terrorism. For me, this deal had to be about more than preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon for the next 10-15 years. For me, this deal had to address Iran’s terrorist actions. ... I cannot gamble our security, and that of our allies, on the hope that Iran will conduct themselves differently than it has for the last 36 years."
Manchin's decision comes after the senator held several town hall meetings throughout West Virginia, where he heard the reservations of hundreds of his constituents. Their concerns were enough to convince him that the president's deal is dangerously flawed.
"I have grave doubts that we will have unified, committed partners willing to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon."
Manchin joins Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) on the growing list of Democratic senators opposed to the deal.
Yet, with Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Gary Peters (D-MI) announcing their support this morning, it looks like the agreement is here to stay. With 41 senators on his side, President Obama now has enough votes to block a Republican disapproval resolution.