Thursday morning, Senator Cory Booker still hadn’t decided.
New Jersey’s junior senator, a Democrat, said that he planned to devote the day to “meeting with some of the brightest minds my staff can pull together” for seven hours of briefings on the ramifications of approving or disapproving the nuclear deal with Iran.
He added that he planned to cap the day by “praying that the Lord grant me some of the wisdom of Solomon to make the right choice.”
Mr. Booker spoke on a teleconference arranged by the Orthodox Union, Agudath Israel, AIPAC, and the New Jersey State Association of Jewish Federations.
“I have never had my cell phone and email account blow up as much as it is now,” he said. “I’ve gotten calls from leaders of the Jewish community from across the nation on this issue. People from both sides of this issue.”
The senator said there is no question that “this deal is flawed and presents serious risks and threats.”
The question he is looking at, he said, is “what are the alternatives if Congress is to reject the deal?
“Anyone who thinks this is simple misses the point that rejecting the deal has consequences as well,” he said. “I want to make sure rejecting a deal that has many bad elements would allow us to achieve our goals” of ending Iran’s nuclear ambitions and terrorist activities.
Mr. Booker said that if the deal does go forward — as it will unless both the House and Senate can muster the two-thirds super majority needed to override President Obama’s promised veto of a disapproval resolution — America will have to do more to stop Iran’s support for terrorism, which he said is a real concern, and a greater one if sanctions are lifted and money flows to the Iranian regime.
No matter whether the deal is approved or rejected, “After this consequential vote in September, you will hear my voice as one of the loudest voices in the Senate in the effort to stop that evil,” he said.