Congress is just days into reviewing the Obama administration's nuclear deal with Iran, and John Boehner is as steadfast as ever in his opposition to it.
Shortly after the deal was announced on Tuesday, the House speaker issued a statement saying that the House would review the agreement "very closely," but condemned its provisions and the Obama administration's approach to negotiations. At a press conference Thursday morning, he doubled down on that criticism.
"Given everything I've seen so far," Boehner said, the agreement constitutes a "bad deal."
"It blows my mind that the administration would agree to lift the arms and missile bans, and sanctions on a general who supplied militants with weapons to kill Americans," he said, referring to embargoes that will be lifted, not immediately, but in the coming years. "President Obama says it's this deal or war. Well, that's a false choice. The sanctions were working and bringing Iran to its knees."
Earlier in the morning, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she's "optimistic" about her caucus's ability to support the president on this deal. Asked for his thoughts on her claim, Boehner said members will spend the next 60 days going over it, but right now he doesn't think Obama has the votes he needs in either chamber.
"It's pretty clear to me that a majority of the House and Senate, at a minimum, are opposed to this deal," he said. "What those numbers look like post-Labor Day, we'll see."
Even if the Republican-led Congress can muster up the votes to reject the deal, as its leaders have pledged to do, Obama has threatened to veto any action to kill the agreement. The GOP would need to rally Democratic support to override the president's veto—something that, if Pelosi's optimism carries to the rest of her colleagues, might be hard to do.