The Senate Democrats' future leader announced his opposition to the Iran nuclear deal, repudiating President Obama's signature foreign policy achievement.
"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," said Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York in a statement. "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 non-nuclear 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."
"For all of these reasons, I believe the vote to disapprove is the right one," he added.
The announcement is a blow to the administration's all-out effort to whip Democrats and sustain a potential veto. It's also sure to frustrate the president, even though Schumer's statement was well timed for minimal impact, a day after the Senate went into August recess and while Fox aired the first GOP presidential debate.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has not stated his position on the historic deal and his number two lieutenant, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, is in charge of rallying support over widespread Republican opposition.