BOSTON (AP) — With just over a month before the deadline for Congress to act on an international nuclear deal with Iran, more than half of Massachusetts’ all-Democratic delegation is still on the fence, according to a poll of the state’s 11 members of Congress by The Associated Press.Saugus Man Killed In Crash On I-95 In Newburyport
The Obama administration is relying on political strongholds of support like Massachusetts — if not to help approve the deal, then to block an override of a veto by President Barack Obama if the GOP-led House and Senate reject the deal.
Helping to sell it is Secretary of State, and former Massachusetts senator, John Kerry.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren came out early in support of the international agreement.
“A negotiated solution is our best chance to hold Iran to no nuclear weapons and we have worked hard with other nations of the world to develop an accord that will accomplish that goal,” Warren told reporters a week after the deal was announced. “If others have an alternative path that they want to spell out, a military solution, they have to put it on the table.”
Congressman Stephen Lynch also was quick to support the deal, arguing that the agreement doesn’t rely on trusting Iran’s leaders, but instead on inspections and monitoring by the International Atomic Energy Agency. He said the election of the more moderate Hassan Rouhani as president is an indication of the Iranian people’s desire to move in a new direction.
“We should not fall into the trap of thinking that every Iranian citizen agrees with their former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,” Lynch wrote in an editorial in The Boston Globe, referring to the hardline leader. “We must seek their better angels.”
Other members of the delegation say they’re still reviewing the agreement.
A spokeswoman for Sen. Edward Markey, who won election to Kerry’s old Senate seat, says he’s receiving briefings from experts about aspects of the agreement, including inspections, sanctions and enforcement.
Other undecided members of state’s delegation include: Reps. Niki Tsongas, Michael Capuano, William Keating, Joe Kennedy, Richard Neal and Katherine Clark.
None have opposed the deal and some appeared to be leaning in favor.READ MORE: Fourth Stimulus Check: Is Another Relief Payment Coming Soon?
“For me, the most important question is — if this deal is not acceptable — then what does the United States do next?” Capuano said when the deal was announced, calling its outlines “reasonable and encouraging.”
Obama, vacationing with his family on Martha’s Vineyard, continued to focus much of his attention on GOP lawmakers.
“Unfortunately, a large portion of the Republican Party, if not a near unanimous portion of Republican representatives, are going to be opposed to anything that I do,” Obama told NPR News.
The White House has conceded Congress likely will pass legislation opposing the deal, which Obama will veto. Obama’s goal is to secure enough Democratic votes to prohibit Congress from overriding his veto.
One of those Democratic votes belongs to Rep. Seth Moulton, an Iraq War veteran and freshman member of Congress from Massachusetts.
Moulton said after listening to constituents, including leaders in the Jewish community, and consulting with military and civilian experts he’s decided the best way to prevent a nuclear Iran is to support the deal.
“It is not a perfect deal, and it is easy to point out the many ways in which it could theoretically be stronger,” Moulton wrote. “That being said, it is by far the best viable option before us.”
Also supportive is Rep. Jim McGovern who said the deal must be judged on whether it’s the strongest available option to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. He said he it is.
Congress must vote by Sept. 17. Both House and Senate Republicans have set the stage for votes on a resolution of disapproval, which Obama has promised to veto. Congress would then have to vote within 10 days on whether to override the veto.
Massachusetts has been a refuge of support for Obama. A majority of Massachusetts voters supported him in the past two presidential elections, including when he ran against former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.MORE NEWS: UMass Lowell Closed Due To 'Possible Cybersecurity Incident'
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