Senator Chuck Grassley

Senator Chuck Grassley

Republicans in the U.S. House say they do have the 218 votes needed to reject the nuclear agreement with Iran, but Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says that doesn’t mean the deal is dead.

“It takes both houses to get it done and it takes the approval of the president if it’s going to be killed,” Grassley says. “I think we have a majority vote in the United States Senate. I even believe that we’ll have 60 votes in the United States Senate to do what is called a resolution of disapproval.”

In May, members of Congress had to okay a special law that meant the multinational agreement with Iran would come before them for a vote, as it’s not technically a treaty. “If we get 60-some votes for a letter of disapproval under the special legislation, the president has to approve of it,” Grassley says, “and he obviously will disapprove of the disapproval amendment.”

The proposed deal would curb Iran’s nuclear weapons program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanction relief, an agreement President Obama favors. Grassley, a Republican, says the president will most certainly veto any effort from Congress to derail the Iran deal. “The question isn’t whether or not the House has 218 votes,” Grassley says, “but will they have 291 votes to override the veto and will the Senate have 67 votes to override a veto? The jury’s still out on that.”

The president is working to secure the support of Democrats who are critical to making sure the deal goes forward. A vote is expected in Congress in September.