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Iran nuclear deal poised to go ahead after key Democratic votes secured

Ben CardinThe Iranian nuclear deal is poised to clear remaining political hurdles in Washington after key Senate Democrats indicated there was now enough support in Congress for Barack Obama to withstand any Republican-led effort to block it.

Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, regarded as a critical swing vote, became the 32nd Democrat to declare his support on Tuesday for the deal, which will ease sanctions on Iran in exchange for steps aimed at preventing it from developing a nuclear weapon.


Pro-Clinton group re-ups demand for Trey Gowdy to turn over his emails

Trey GowsyA letter from Correct the Record founder David Brock, sent Wednesday and shared exclusively with POLITICO, follows another sent March 11 in which Brock also urged Gowdy to release his own private and work-related email as he called for Clinton to turn over her server.

Clinton’s campaign earlier this month turned over the server that the former secretary of state used for email correspondence during her time at the State Department, along with a thumb drive containing the work-related emails.


Iraq War vet praises Iran nuclear deal as list of supporters grows

Seth MoultonDemocratic Rep. Seth Moulton, who served four tours of duty in Iraq before his election to Congress from Massachusetts last fall, has provided the White House a testimonial in favor of the Iran nuclear deal designed to counter criticism from some Iraq War veterans, POLITICO has learned.

“As a combat veteran, I know the cost of war. It is something I still carry with me today,” Moulton writes, arguing that no better deal is possible and that rejecting the deal increases the odds of military action.

Moulton had endorsed the deal earlier this month. But the White House is eager to amplify support for the agreement from a Marine who served in Iraq, where Iranian commanders backed Iraqi militias that killed hundreds of U.S. troops.


340 Rabbis Back Iran Deal in Letter to Congress

Iran deal backed by rabbisIn a letter to Congress, 340 U.S. rabbis from the major streams of Judaism expressed support for the Iran nuclear deal.

The letter sent Monday urges the House of Representatives and Senate to endorse the agreement, in which sanctions are lifted in exchange for restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program.

Noting that “we are deeply concerned with the impression that the leadership of the American Jewish community is united in opposition to the agreement,” the letter states, “We, along with many other Jewish leaders, fully support this historic nuclear accord.”


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.


Senate blocks Planned Parenthood defunding measure

Planned Parenthood defunding blockedRepublican legislation to cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood failed to gather enough support in the U.S. Senate on Monday, halting at least for now moves to punish the women's health group for its role in gathering fetal tissue from abortions for medical research.

Senate Democrats succeeded in stopping the bill on a procedural vote. Sixty votes were needed to advance it in the 100-person chamber. It received 53 votes, with 46 senators opposing it.


Top U.N. nuclear inspector to brief senators on Iran deal

UN nuclear inspectorThe head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency, whose inspectors’ role in implementing the Iran nuclear deal has become a flashpoint on Capitol Hill, will privately brief members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee next week.

Yukiya Amano of the International Atomic Energy Agency agreed to the Aug. 5 session after receiving a letter requesting his presence from all of the lawmakers on the committee, the top two senators on the panel said in a statement Friday.


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