WASHINGTON — Support for the Iran sanctions bill in the Senate has reached a veto-proof majority, according to a Senate aide close to the process.
“Based on the current counts that I’ve seen, it’s well above 67,” the aide said.
CNN’s Jim Sciutto reported on Twitter that the number of yes votes on the Kirk-Menendez sanctions bill had reached 77. The number is not exactly 77, the aide told BuzzFeed, but is above the two-thirds majority required to override a presidential veto. The aide declined to provide the specific whip count or to say which senators have joined on.
The White House responded to an uptick in support by demanding senators be “up front” about their intentions regarding military action in a strongly worded statement yesterday from National Security Council spokesperson Bernadette Meehan.
“If Congress passes this bill, it will be proactively taking an action that will make diplomacy less likely to succeed,” Meehan said. “The American people have been clear that they prefer a peaceful resolution to this issue. If certain members of Congress want the United States to take military action, they should be up front with the American public and say so. Otherwise, it’s not clear why any member of Congress would support a bill that possibly closes the door on diplomacy and makes it more likely that the United States will have to choose between military options or allowing Iran’s nuclear program to proceed.”