Del. U.S. Senators Considered Swing Votes on Iran Deal - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. U.S. Senators Considered Swing Votes on Iran Deal

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Del. U.S. Senator Chris Coons (Photo: WBOC) Del. U.S. Senator Chris Coons (Photo: WBOC)

DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - Which way will they vote? Delaware's U.S. senators are potential swing votes in Congress on the Iran nuclear deal. In a few weeks Congress will vote on whether to approve the Obama administration negotiated deal. One by one senators and representatives have been announcing their decisions - yes or no, but Delaware's U.S. senators - both Democrats - are still making up their minds.

Sen. Tom Carper's staff tells WBOC he's leaning yes but is using the August recess to think. Sen. Chris Coons is also still on the fence, and he's been getting a lot of pressure on this vote.

Coons said he has read his colleagues' statements, met with constituents and attended more than a dozen congressional hearings.

"I've tried to be thorough and thoughtful and deliberate but not indecisive about this," he said.

Iran has to give up almost all of its enriched uranium and for a decade, many of its centrifuges. Plus, it will submit to what Coons calls extremely intrusive inspections for years. But Coons said his initial reaction to the deal was actually disappointment, and he still has serious concerns. Those concerns are front and center in an ad trying to persuade Coons to vote no airing frequently on WBOC.

The ad uses soundbites from Coons himself: "We have to start with a deep suspicion of Iran... A nuclear weapons capable Iran is unacceptable... Their past history of cheating on deals, using their resources to support terrorism.. I will just reassert that no deal is better than a bad deal."
The ad then says: "Sen. Coons is right. Tell him to reject the Iran nuclear deal."

WBOC asked Coons to watch the ad paid for by a group of former U.S. senators opposed to the deal.

"I'm quoted several times in the ad from different speeches and hearings, where I express real concerns about Iran, about their support for terrorism, about their past history of cheating. That's all accurate. And I'm happy to repeat that," he said. "That advertisement simply concludes that this deal is a bad deal without making any of the detailed arguments. I think there are arguments in favor of this deal."

Coons expects a "no" vote from Congress and then a veto from the president. The question is will there be enough no votes to override that veto? Given that, he understands the importance of his vote.

"In three weeks we're coming to the point where I have to cast a vote. So, I will likely announce a public position before the vote."

WBOC also checked in with staff for Delaware U.S. Rep. John Carney. They say he is still undecided on the Iran deal, too.

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