Sen. Chuck Schumer, the top Jewish Democrat in Congress, has dealt President Obama's Iran deal a major blow but probably not a fatal one. The NY senator says that after "considerable soul-searching," he has decided to oppose the deal, which means Obama will have a harder task gathering 34 Senate votes to sustain a veto of any GOP legislation shooting down the deal, the New York Times reports. Schumer, who had been seen as a likely successor to Harry Reid as minority leader, says he is opposed "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."
Lawmakers have until the middle of next month to make up their minds on the deal, and sources tell CNN that Schumer had been expected to delay announcing his opposition until Democrats were sure they had enough votes to keep the deal intact. The senator had been under heavy pressure to reject the deal, with the group Secure America Now organizing more than 10,000 calls to his office, reports Politico, which notes that the deal was discussed during last night's GOP debate. Donald Trump called it a "disgrace" and Scott Walker vowed to cancel it on his first day as president. (Obama told Congress this week that the price of rejecting the deal will probably be another war in the Middle East.)