Ernest Luning- THE COLORADO STATESMAN
On the same day last week the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill giving Congress a vote on an anticipated nuclear agreement with Iran, three Democrats from the Colorado delegation signed on to a letter expressing support for the ongoing negotiations, urging President Obama to “stay on course.”
The letter, signed by 150 House Democrats, including U.S. Reps. Diana DeGette, Jared Polis and Ed Perlmutter, could provide leverage to supporters of a diplomatic settlement because it signals that a sufficient number of House members could thwart an attempt by Congress to override a presidential veto, if the Republican-controlled House and Senate vote down the Iranian deal.
At the same time, many of the Democrats backing continued negotiations with Iran also support giving Congress a chance to approve the deal, which is scheduled to be finalized by June 30.
Closer to home, the state Senate approved a statement on the last day of session last week asking Colorado’s members of Congress to support an agreement with Iran, but only if it “unambiguously prohibits Iran from developing, producing and possessing nuclear weapons.”
The letter from the House Democrats — all but 33 of them signed it — calls for negotiators to “exhaust every avenue toward a verifiable, enforceable, diplomatic solution in order to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran.” Contending that the situation “is above politics,” the Democrats warn, “The stakes are too great and the alternatives are too dire.”
If an agreement isn’t reached, the letter to Obama concludes, “Congress will remain at-the-ready to act and present you with additional options to ensure that Iran is prevented from acquiring a nuclear weapon.”