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Obama secures 41 votes in support of Iran deal

41 Votes for iran deal securedPresident Barack Obama is headed for a big win on his nuclear deal with Iran as long as Harry Reid can convince fellow Democrats to play procedural hard ball this week.

Obama now has enough support in the Senate to reject a motion disapproving of his nuclear accord with Iran, after three key Democrats said they would back the agreement on Tuesday morning in an apparently coordinated messaging blitz just after 11 a.m.


Debbie Wasserman Schultz Endorses Iran Deal

Debbie WassermanU.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston, who heads the national Democratic Party, has announced she will support the controversial Iran nuclear deal that is a top priority for President Barack Obama but has faced widespread voter criticism, including in Florida.

In a five-and-a-half page statement released exclusively to the Miami Herald on Sunday morning, Wasserman Schultz wrote that after wrestling with the agreement she still has concerns but will support it.


Dem Sen. Cardin opposes Iran deal

Ben CardinSen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) said on Friday that he will oppose the Iran nuclear deal, making him the third Senate Democrat to come out against the agreement.

"This is a close call, but after a lengthy review, I will vote to disapprove the deal," he wrote in a Washington Post op-ed. "The JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] legitimizes Iran's nuclear program. After 10 to 15 years, it would leave Iran with the option to produce enough enriched fuel for a nuclear weapon in a short time."


Obama gets Iran deal win as Senate Dems amass enough votes

Iran deal sewn upPresident Barack Obama secured a landmark foreign policy victory Wednesday as Senate Democrats amassed enough votes to ensure the Iran nuclear deal survives in Congress, despite ferocious opposition from Republicans and the government of Israel.

Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland became the crucial 34th vote in favor of the agreement.

“No deal is perfect, especially one negotiated with the Iranian regime,” Mikulski said in a statement. She called the accord “the best option available to block Iran from having a nuclear bomb. For these reasons, I will vote in favor of this deal.”


Obama signs Boulder-White Clouds Wilderness bill

Boulder wilderness billLess than three days after the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bill approving the Boulder-White Cloud Mountains area for wilderness designation, President Barack Obama has signed the bill into law, ending a 40-year effort.

Obama signed the Senate's approval of H.R. 1138, the “Sawtooth National Recreation Area and Jerry Peak Wilderness Additions Act,” which designates three new wilderness areas (encompassing about 275,665 acres) in Idaho as components of the National Wilderness Preservation System; releases four wilderness study areas so that the land would be managed for multiple-use activities; and provides for several land conveyances in Idaho.


Meryl Streep asks Congress to revive ERA

Meryl StreepNo actor or actress can match Meryl Streep's 19 Academy Award nominations, and only Katharine Hepburn has bested her three Oscars for acting. So maybe it's conceivable that Streep's letter Tuesday to each member of Congress can somehow revive the Equal Rights Amendment, politically dormant since its high-water mark four decades ago.

"I am writing to ask you to stand up for equality - for your mother, your daughter, your sister, your wife or yourself - by actively supporting the Equal Rights Amendment," Streep writes. Each packet includes a copy of "Equal Means Equal," a book by Jessica Neuwirth, president of the ERA Coalition.


Pentagon accused of withholding data on sex assaults at US bases

GillibrandThe number of sex-related crimes occurring in U.S. military communities is far greater than the Defense Department has publicly reported, a U.S. senator said Monday in a scathing critique that asserts the Pentagon has refused to provide her information about sexual assaults at several major bases.

The spouses of service members and civilian women who live or work near military facilities are especially vulnerable to being sexually assaulted, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., said in a report. Yet they "remain in the shadows" because neither is counted in surveys conducted by the Defense Department to determine the prevalence of sexual assaults within the ranks, the report said.


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