THE House overwhelmingly gave final approval yesterday to a landmark civil nuclear agreement with India, putting the Bush administration in reach of a substantial foreign policy achievement, Glenn Kessler of Washington Post writes.
The legislation, which passed 298 to 117, still faces obstacles in the Senate, where it has been approved bythe Senate Foreign Relations Committee but several senators have blocked it from coming to the floor for debate. The administration has pressed for final action before Congress adjourns, even though the 2006 bill that gave preliminary approval to the deal called for a much longer period of discussion and debate.
“I urge the Senate to quickly take up and pass this important piece of legislation before their October adjournment,” President Bush said yesterday. “Signing this bipartisan bill will help strengthen our partnership with India.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) promised a vote on the agreement in his chamber perhaps as soon as tomorrow.
The deal, which has been fiercely opposed by nuclear proliferation experts, would give New Delhi access to U.S. nuclear technology for the first time since it conducted a nuclear test in 1974.