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Debbie Wasserman Schultz facing huge pressure over Iran deal

With another Florida Democratic congressman coming out last week against the Iran nuclear deal, attention turns to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee is one of the most prominent Jewish politicians in the country.

That post — and her liberal politics in general — make her a staunch ally of President Barack Obama. But the Iran deal is different, and Wasserman Schultz is feeling intense pressure from both sides.

"I'm continuing to read over the deal, as well as meet with administration officials and experts to ask questions and receive more information," she told the Tampa Bay Times.

"On such an important and consequential issue as this, I intend to be as thorough as possible in my review and in my meetings and briefings."

She plans on meeting with rabbis, community organizers, business owners and elected officials in what may be the toughest vote of her congressional career, which began in 2005.

Wasserman Schultz, of Weston, has gotten a couple hundred phone calls and emails.

"It tilts toward people asking her to vote against it rather than for it but of the people contacting us, both sides are pretty vocal in their support or opposition," said spokesman Sean Bartlett.

So far, two of the 10 Florida Democrats in the House have said they oppose the deal: Ted Deutch of Boca Raton and Alcee Hastings of Miramar.

On Thursday, Hastings said, "the negotiators worked diligently, but in the end, the (deal) allows Iran to remain a nuclear threshold state while simultaneously reaping the benefits of relief from international sanctions."

Sen. Bill Nelson recently came out in support of the deal. The remaining Democrats, like Wasserman Schultz, are undecided.

"I'm using the 60-day review period very seriously to take a hard look at this deal," said Rep. Patrick Murphy of Jupiter, who is running for U.S. Senate. "I still have many questions and have not yet decided if it is in the best interest of our national security or Israel's. The bottom line is we absolutely have to ensure that Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon, both for our security and the security of Israel, our most important ally in the region."

Rep. Alan Grayson, another Senate contender, "is still reviewing the agreement" a spokesman said, though Grayson has expressed doubts about the deal.

Rep. Lois Frankel of West Palm Beach asked constituents for feedback and got back 3,000 responses "with the breakdown leaning towards opposition," a spokeswoman said.

"We have received quite a lot of calls on the subject of Iran," said a spokesman for Rep. Corrine Brown of Jacksonville. "I'd say the majority of the people calling are opposed to the deal."

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