The Indo-US nuclear deal legislation has been deferred to the US Senate’s ‘lame duck’ session, after the November 7 Congressional elections.
The Bush administration’s all-out bid to push the measure through failed as the Democrats rejected a proposal to pass the Bill, without debate or amendment, before the Senate went into recess in the early hours of Saturday.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, however, agreed to the idea of putting the bill on “automatic pilot” so that it could be taken up as the “first order of business” when the Senate reconvenes in the second week of November.
Reid, while affirming his strong support for the bill, stressed nonetheless that amendments moved by his party would have to be debated and disposed of.
Elections will be held for one-third of the 100 Senate seats and for all the 435 seats in the House of Representatives. Although the complexion of both chambers could change after the election, this will not affect the ‘lame duck’ session as the new members will take over only when the next Congress reconvenes in January 2007.
An assessment by India had said that an early unanimous consent vote by the Senate was unlikely to happen
Democrats had listed 19 amendments for the unanimous consent vote, making conditions difficult for the vote
All eyes are now on the ‘lame duck’ Senate session, after the November 7 Congressional polls