On Wednesday, about 100 House Democrats went to the White House, where Obama spoke about the agreement for about 30 minutes in the East Room.
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“He’s with the deal – he’s not with Congress“, the California congressman added.
Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee counts an American held hostage in Iran as a constituent.
“Are you surprised Jacques Audibert believes we could have gotten a better deal?”
It was part of the White House’s aggressive campaign to convince Congress to back the Iranian nuclear deal, which calls on Iran to curb its nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief.
Wikler compared the tone of the call to one that could be experienced during an election season-Obama was forceful, direct, and adamant that the his bully pulpit alone won’t see the deal through a skeptical Congress. Wikler says his organization has a similar sense of urgency around the deal, which he says is their “overriding priority” leading up to the vote.
His analysis is already having an effect on how members of Congress, especially House Democrats, are thinking about the deal.
The pro-Israel lobby argues that Iran can not be trusted. “This agreement allows us to prevent (Iran) from gaining a nuclear weapon, and if they cheat, we will know it. If we don’t have the agreement, we don’t have that certainty”.
In a phone call with supporters on Thursday, President Barack Obama characterized opponents of the Iran deal as being backed by “billionaires” and urged those listening in to win over “squishy” lawmakers considering opposing the deal.
At the same time, Carter said that the successful implementation of the agreement would be better than taking military action because a strike would be temporary and likely would make Iran “irreconcilably resigned” to getting a nuclear weapon. Lawmakers head home next week for the August recess and will have to face voters’ concerns head-on before a September vote on whether to approve or disapprove of it.
“He basically said, if Congress votes this down, there will be some saber-rattling and some chaos for a year or two, but in the end nothing will change and Iran will come back to the table to negotiate again that would be to our advantage”, Sanchez told me in an interview.
A day after Tuesday’s House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the deal with Secretary of State John Kerry, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, committee member Grace Meng, D-N.Y., came out against it, saying she wants a more favorable arrangement. The administration’s goal is to ensure it has enough Democratic votes to sustain the veto.
Obama administration Cabinet members have been lobbying Congress in the days since the deal was announced, attending hearings on the Hill and privately discussing its provisions with representatives.
Earlier in the week, the White House won the backing of Democratic Rep. Sander Levin, a Jewish lawmaker from Michigan.
Earnest said the president will continue to have many other conversations like these over the next several weeks. “There are no other alternatives that bear close scrutiny”, he said. “If you read the agreement, they are absolutely critical to its success”, he said.