The Senate is set to begin debating a resolution to disapprove of the Iran agreement on Sept. 8, with a Sept. 17 deadline to vote on the measure.
Schumer had been eyed as a key vote, both for his prominence as the top Jewish Democrat in Congress and the expectation that he’ll become the Democratic leader in the Senate.
In a 1600 word statement Schumer warned that the “very real risk that Iran will not moderate and will, instead, use the agreement to pursue its nefarious goals is too great.”
“Therefore, I will vote to disapprove the agreement, not because I believe war is a viable or desirable option, nor to challenge the path of diplomacy. It is because I believe Iran will not change, and under this agreement, it will be able to achieve its dual goals of eliminating sanctions while ultimately retaining its nuclear and non-nuclear power.
Several other New York Democrats in Congress are also rejecting the Iran deal, such as Rep. Steve Israel.
President Obama needs 34 votes to sustain a promised veto of legislation disapproving the deal, which Republican leaders in the House and the Senate have promised to pass in September.