The strenuous campaign pressuring New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer to oppose the nuclear deal with Iran is “having an effect,” according to Washington news site Politico.
More than 10,000 phone calls have flooded Schumer's office line the past two weeks, organized by “a group looking to kill the deal,” according to the report, while another group has shelled out a seven figure sum for TV ads in New York City to pressure Schumer and other lawmakers to vote against the plan.
AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, is also lobbying Schumer to oppose the deal.
And Dov Hikind, a Democratic state assemblyman from Brooklyn, was recently arrested for disorderly conduct along with eight other activists while protesting the deal outside Schumer’s office.
“People who have spoken with the senior New York senator believe the pressure campaign is having an effect: They say there is a growing sense inside and outside the Capitol that Schumer will vote against the deal when the Senate considers it in September,” according to the report.
Politico's Manu Raju and Burgess Everett appear so convinced Schumer will vote against the deal that they are saying the bigger question is now “how hard” he will push against it, and will he speak out in a way that influences other Democrats to join him. Schumer is one of about 15 Democratic senators who could turn Barack Obama's nuclear deal into the biggest failure of his presidency. If more than a dozen Senate Democrats vote against the deal and in favor of overriding his veto on this vote – the deal will have been defeated.
'I haven’t made up my mind'
Schumer, who is an influential figure in the Senate and is in line to be the first Jewish Senate leader next Congress, told the website he’s still undecided.
“I haven’t made up my mind,” he said. “There are expectations all over the lot. I’m doing what I’m always doing when I have a very difficult decision: Learning it carefully and giving it my best shot, doing what I think is right. I’m not going to let pressure or politics or party get in the way of that.”
He wouldn’t say if he would forcefully advocate his position once he makes his stance clear.
“I’ve got to first decide how I’m voting,” Schumer said.
The report indicates that opponents of the deal are much louder and more emotional than its supporters. Sen. Chris Coons said that telephone calls against the deal outnumber those in favor by 10-to-1 in his state. “I am a Democrat, and I would like to be able to support this agreement,” Coons said. “But I have serious reservations about it.”
Congress has until September 17th to vote on the deal and lift legislative sanctions on Iran, providing major economic relief to the country that has repeatedly vowed to annihilate Israel and defeat the United States.