WASHINGTON (AP) -- As the Senate nears a critical vote on the international nuclear accord with Iran, President Barack Obama has made a last-minute appeal for support.
He told a gathering of military veterans and others today that America's strength comes partly through "principled diplomacy." Obama says it would be a "historic achievement" to keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons without having to go to war.
Foes of the deal don't have the Senate votes to move ahead with a resolution of disapproval. The opponents have come up against a complicated congressional review process that gave unusual power to Democratic minorities in the House and Senate. They can secure a win for Obama simply by upholding his veto of a disapproval resolution. And with at least 41 votes in the Senate, Democrats will be able to block that resolution with a filibuster.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell says it would be a "tragedy" if senators who earlier voted to give Congress the right to disapprove the Iran deal now use a filibuster to block the disapproval resolution.
House Republicans have launched some last-ditch maneuvers to try to derail the deal, but the efforts appear unlikely to deny Obama a win on his top foreign policy priority. House Speaker John Boehner told reporters today that legal action to stop the agreement "is an option that is very possible."
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