Senate Democrats voted to uphold the hard-fought nuclear accord with Iran on Thursday, overcoming ferocious GOP opposition and delivering President Barack Obama a legacy-making victory on his top foreign policy priority.
A disapproval resolution for the agreement fell two votes short of the 60 needed to move forward as Democratic and independent senators banded together against it. Although House Republicans continued to pursue eleventh-hour strategies to derail the international accord, the outcome in the Senate guaranteed that the disapproval legislation would not reach Obama’s desk.
As a result the nuclear deal will move forward unchecked by Congress, an improbable win by Obama in the face of unanimous opposition from Republicans who control Capitol Hill, GOP candidates seeking to replace him in the Oval Office and the state of Israel and its allied lobbyists in the U.S.
Beginning next week, Obama will be free to start scaling back U.S. sanctions to implement the agreement negotiated by Iran, the U.S. and five other world powers. The accord aims to constrain Iran’s nuclear ambitions in exchange for hundreds of billions of dollars in relief from international sanctions.