Three US Democrat lawmakers against rush vote on nuke deal

September 13th, 2008 - 3:31 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Sept 13 (ANI): With the Indo-US civil nuclear deal text being sent to the American Congress for a quick final nod, a detailed examination of the agreement has been demanded by a group of three senior Democratic lawmakers.
The group, comprising a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Edward Markey, the Chair of the House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee Ellen O Tauscher and the chair of the House Budget Committee John Spratt, has said that there are many lingering questions about the deal that require further examination and hence Congress should rule out any rush for an expedited vote for its ratification. This demand comes in the wake of reports that the 30-day rule for the legislation to be considered will be waived to meet the September 26 deadline, when the current session of the American Congress ends.
The group, led by Massachussetts Congressman Markey, has opposed any hurried action while accepting the agreement.
In a letter to the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Howard Berman, the group said: “As many questions whether or not the 123 Agreement, the India-IAEA Safeguards Agreement, the NSG waiver, and the Presidential certifications, meet the requirements of the Atomic Energy Act and the Hyde Act, are still remaining, we urge you to take all necessary time to carefully review the president’’s submission.”
They contended that the NSG waiver did not clearly incorporate the restrictions and conditions on US nuclear trade mandated by the Hyde Act, such as the requirement that nuclear cooperation be immediately halted if India conducts a nuclear test.
While urging the Congress for a full and complete review of the pact, they opposed to the rushing consideration of the proposal to adhere to an imaginary clock.
Meanwhile, the US State department has said that the deal will help meet India’’s growing energy requirements and strengthen the non- proliferation regime by welcoming India into internationally accepted non-proliferation standards and practices.
Issuing a fact sheet on the initiative, the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs said that the Congressional approval will be the culmination of an unprecedented three-year effort by the US and India, in a way that deepens our strategic partnership.
The State Department also thanked the NSG member countries for their outstanding efforts and cooperation in forging this consensus on welcoming India closer to the international non-proliferation regime. (ANI)

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