WASHINGTON — New York Sen. Chuck Schumer won't be the Democratic leader for 21 months. But the man who has locked up the support of top Democrats to replace Harry Reid is already facing a tough leadership test.
It's crunch time for President Barack Obama as he seeks to prevent Congress from achieving a veto-proof majority to scuttle a major deal to curtail Iran's nuclear program. Many Republicans are unhappy with the framework for an agreement to cut off Iran's paths to a bomb and are pushing legislation that the White House says would threaten the negotiations.
Republicans appear to have large majorities to pass it, and that includes support from a significant number of Democrats in both chambers. But the question of whether they achieve the two-thirds majority in the Senate could hinge on Schumer and the role he decides to play.
"He will play a big role," said one senior Senate Democratic aide.
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