By COLlive reporter
New York Senator Chuck Schumer, the chamber’s third-ranking Democrat, has decided against President Barack Obama‘s nuclear deal with Iran, he announced on Thursday evening.
Schumer, the influential Jewish Democrat who’s poised to assume leadership of his party in the Senate, wrote, “After deep study, careful thought and considerable soul-searching, I have decided I must oppose the agreement and will vote yes on a motion of disapproval.”
“I will vote to disapprove the agreement, not because I believe war is a viable or desirable option, nor to challenge the path of diplomacy,” he wrote. “It is 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.”
CNN reports that Schumer’s thinking on the deal has been closely watched since the plan to loosen sanctions on Tehran in exchange for access to potential nuclear sites was announced in early July.
He said publicly over the past several weeks that he was going through the deal with a “fine-tooth comb” and received briefings from top administration officials to digest the deal’s inner workings, the network reported.
At Jewish functions in New York, Schumer often relates that his surname “is the same as a shomer” (a guardian in Hebrew), adding that “We need to be guardians of America and its strongest ally – Israel.”
In the past, Schumer has voiced criticism of the Obama administration on its policies towards Israel. “This has to stop,” he said in 2010 about the president’s “counterproductive” policy on Israel.
House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Eliot Engel, Schumer’s New York colleague, also officially announced he was against the deal, despite a one-on-one meeting with Obama last week, CNN reported.
President Obama is taking heat for his rhetoric while trying to sell the Iran nuclear deal. CNN’s Jim Acosta has more.
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