The White House is downplaying the devastation wrought by Chuck Schumer's opposition to the Iran deal.
On Friday, press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters that the defection of the Democrats' future leader in the Senate—and the top Jewish lawmaker in Congress—was "not particularly surprising to anybody here at the White House, even if it was disappointing."
"But it doesn't change that we will be able to mobilize a substantial majority of Democrats in the House and Senate in support of the deal and, if necessary, to sustain the president's veto," he said in a White House briefing.
Schumer announced his opposition to the agreement late Thursday night in a stinging blow to the White House's efforts to drum up support for the deal.
"I will vote to disapprove the agreement, not because I believe war is a viable or desirable option, nor to challenge the path of diplomacy," Schumer said in a statement posted on Medium. "It is because I believe Iran will not change, and under this agreement, it will be able to achieve its dual goals of eliminating sanctions while ultimately retaining its nuclear and nonnuclear power. Better to keep U.S. sanctions in place, strengthen them, enforce secondary sanctions on other nations, and pursue the hard-trodden path of diplomacy once more, difficult as it may be."