This Is Trump's Moment of Truth on the Iran Deal
It will therefore be a heavy lift. The foreign relations committee chairman, Bob Corker, is lead sponsor along with Cotton on the reform legislation. But how enthusiastic really is “Liddle’ Bob” to do the president’s bidding? Rand Paul, Susan Collins and Jeff Flake will continue to be trouble spots for the administration; loss of their votes would likely sink the whip count to 49.
But there is a dark-horse option: Chuck Schumer, the Senate minority leader. Partisan considerations will likely keep him in check, but the senior Senator from New York has a long history of being more hawkish than his caucus, especially on issues pertaining to Israel. He could drag fellow Democratic hawks, such as Bob Menendez of New Jersey. The president’s speech Friday, as Tillerson emphasized, is expected to address Iran’s broader global impact, not just its nuclear program. This includes Tehran’s sponsorship of Hezbollah, very much back on the radar in Washington in recent weeks, which Tillerson argued has no raison d'être other than the tormenting of Israel.
“He likes us,” Schumer was caught telling a colleague on the Senate floor about the president in recent weeks. “He likes me, at least.” Time to see if Schumer likes Trump back?
Curt Mills is a foreign-affairs reporter at the National Interest. Follow him on Twitter: @CurtMills.