WASHINGTON — Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger announced Thursday he will support the nuclear agreement with Iran, arguing that the deal "removes Iran's most dangerous and likely path to a nuclear weapon."
The Baltimore County Democrat, a member of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, made the announcement hours after the Senate voted to block a resolution disapproving of the deal -- ensuring it will move forward without congressional intervention.
"The U.S. no longer has the support of our allies to keep international sanctions in place, and we cannot allow Iran to remain a nuclear threshold state," Ruppersberger said in a statement. "The [agreement] is not perfect, but with this deal we take the greatest weapons away from one of our greatest adversaries, and I strongly support its approval."
All members of Maryland's congressional delegation have announced a position on the deal except for Rep. John Delaney, a Montgomery County Democrat. Sen. Ben Cardin, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Rep. Andy Harris, a Baltimore County Republican oppose it. All others have expressed support.
A procedural vote to advance a resolution of disapproval fell two votes shy in the Senate on Thursday after most Democrats voted to sustain a filibuster. Cardin and three other Democrats joined with Republicans in an effort to bring the resolution to the floor.
Unless two Democrats switch their position next week, the deal will now move forward without a veto from Obama.
Under the agreement, negotiated by the United States, Iran, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China, Iran would allow stronger inspections of nuclear sites in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.