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Thursday, July 27, 2006

U.S. House Agrees with AAEA on India Nuclear Deal

The House voted 359-68 on July 27, 2006 to endorse President Bush’s proposal (HR 5682) for civilian nuclear cooperation with India. The bill, sponsored by House International Relations Committee Chairman Henry Hyde (R-IL), was modified to give Congress greater oversight in the agreement. This agreement will permit the U.S. to sell technology to India for nuclear power development. In return, India will open up its civilian nuclear program to international inspections and agree not to test nuclear weapons. A similar bill (S. 2429), introduced by Richard G. Lugar, R-Ind., the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is pending in the Senate.

The agreement requires:

1) Multiple presidential determinations before a deal can be approved,
2) Consultations with Congress on a monthyly basis to assess the status of talks with India and the International Atomic Energy Agency on opening up India’s 14 civilian nuclear plants to inspections,
3) The president to determine that India has a “credible” plan to separate its civilian and military nuclear industries,
4) Submission of any final agreement to be approved by a joint resolution of Congress.

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