Even as the US Congress prepares to vote on legislation for the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal, the White House has said President George W Bush considered it a "top priority" and wants the Senate and House of Representatives to "act affirmatively" on it.
"Let me put it this way, the President considers this a top priority. And wants both Houses of Congress to act on it and act affirmatively" White House spokesman Tony Snow told reporters in response to a query on Friday.
The bipartisan bill on the deal, authored by Democrat lawmaker Tom Lantos along with House International Relations Committee chairman Henry Hyde, is scheduled for a 'mark-up' or fine-tuning at the Committee on June 27.
The Senate's version of a bipartisan legislation, piloted by its Foreign Relations panel Chairman Richard Lugar and senator Joseph Biden, will follow with its mark-up a day or two later.
The legislation is expected to clear both the House and Senate committees next week with a view to paving the way for a vote in the US Congress next month.
The US administration and lawmakers supporting India are hoping that the House and Senate will formally vote on the legislation by the end of July before the Congress breaks for the summer recess.