Only scientist in Congress backs Iran deal

The only member of Congress to hold a Ph.D. in science is supporting the nuclear deal with Iran, amid a wave of Democratic support for the Obama administration’s agreement.

Rep. Bill FosterBill FosterLawmakers celebrate Jackie Robinson Day Overnight Energy: Fight breaks out over Interior budget Overnight Finance: Senate wants House to go first on debt MORE (D-Ill.), who holds a doctorate in physics, said Tuesday that he had gone deep into the weeds on the pact’s technical merits and concluded that it passed muster to earn his support.

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“After carefully weighing all of the options and possible outcomes I do believe that voting for this deal will make it less likely that Iran will develop a nuclear weapon,” Foster said in a press conference on Capitol Hill.

“My support of this agreement is informed not just by trust but by science.”

Foster attended 15 briefings on the deal, he said, which had made clear to him that the accord would severely limit Iran’s ability to create a nuclear bomb. The agreement would also ensure tough oversight of the country’s facilities, he said, and represents a global unanimity that could not be replaced.

“We did not negotiate this deal alone, but if we walk away we walk away alone,” Foster said.

“I am supporting this deal because I believe that it sets us on a path for a more secure future for the United States, for Israel and the world.”

Foster on Tuesday was joined by Energy Secretary Ernest MonizErnest MonizEnergy Dept. helps with Biden’s cancer project Bay Area energy meeting is where climate protection gets real The Trail 2016: Donald and the Supremes MORE, whom he has known for years.

“I think it is something noteworthy when, again, my old FermiLab friend dug into this and has come out, I would say, endorsing the science that underpins this agreement,” Moniz said. Foster spent 22 years at Illinois’s FermiLab before coming to Congress.

“We’ve always said that the science underpinning it is the origin of the confidence that many of us should have,” Moniz added.

Foster’s announcement came shortly after the final few Democrats in the Senate came out in support of the deal, giving backers enough votes to filibuster legislation to kill the deal.

The announcements from Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) were a major victory for the Obama administration.

Still, Moniz said the administration would not be resting on its laurels now that the key number has been reached.

“Frankly there will be more briefings later today, tomorrow,” he said.

“We are not briefing to any number of votes. We are trying to get this deal, this agreement understood as clearly as possible, because we believe it does stand on its own two feet.”