Klobuchar sees Iran ire, Cuba con­sen­sus

USA TODAY US Edition - - NEWS -

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., who an­nounced last week that she would sup­port the Iran nu­clear deal, says it is in­creas­ingly likely Pres­i­dent Obama will have the votes he needs to sus­tain a veto of con­gres­sional leg­is­la­tion that tries to block it.

It prob­a­bly will be a vic­tory won with­out the sup­port of a sin­gle Se­nate Repub­li­can, just the sort of par­ti­san di­vide she de­cries in a new book, The Sen­a­tor Next Door: A Memoir from the Heart

land, pub­lished next week by Henry Holt. “It’s an anti-Trump book,” she says, about avoid­ing the sort of blis­ter­ing rhetoric and po­lit­i­cal pos­tur­ing that makes it hard to forge al­liances across party lines to get things done.

Two se­nior Se­nate Democrats have an­nounced op­po­si­tion to the deal — Charles Schumer of New York and Bob Me­nen­dez of New Jersey. Klobuchar is one of two dozen Demo­cratic sen­a­tors who de­clared their sup­port. Congress is likely to pass a res­o­lu­tion of dis­ap­proval, which Obama vowed to veto. The White House would need 34 Se­nate votes or 146 House votes to sus­tain a veto.

“Even (Se­nate Repub­li­can Leader) Mitch McCon­nell is say­ing it’s get­ting tougher and tougher to over­ride a veto,” Klobuchar says. “The tide is mov­ing ” to­ward sup­port amid fierce lob­by­ing. “In terms of the in­ten­sity of how peo­ple felt about it,” she says, “I don’t re­mem­ber any­thing quite like this.”

She is more op­ti­mistic about the prospect of bi­par­ti­san ac­tion to lift the trade em­bargo against Cuba, es­pe­cially if re­stric­tions on travel by Amer­i­cans to the is­land are eased. “Once those tens of mil­lions of Amer­i­cans come into Cuba, the im­pe­tus for more for­eign in­vest­ment, from ho­tels to telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions to food ... that is go­ing to make a ma­jor dif­fer­ence,” she tells USA TO­DAY’s weekly video newsmaker se­ries. “My fear is if we wait too long, pretty soon those Amer­i­can tourists will be sleep­ing in Span­ish ho­tels and eat­ing Ger­man food.”

A Pew Re­search Cen­ter Poll last month found al­most three in four Amer­i­cans sup­port lift­ing the em­bargo. “It’s not out of the realm of pos­si­bil­ity we get this done in the next year or the next two years,” Klobuchar says. “I do think this is just a mat­ter of ‘when,’ not a mat­ter of ‘if ’ any­more.”

Klobuchar, 55, the daugh­ter of a long­time colum­nist for the Star

Tri­bune in Min­neapo­lis, has a re­porter’s eye for an anec­dote.

Her book is threaded with tough lessons, in­clud­ing deal­ing with her fa­ther’s al­co­holism and her daugh­ter’s se­ri­ous med­i­cal prob­lems at birth. “These things that seem like ob­sta­cles, they’re al­ways a path,” she says.

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