A senior lawmaker in the US House of Representatives has asked Democrats in the Senate to stop "obstructing" the legislation enabling civilian nuclear cooperation with India, arguing that "time is running out" for the deal.
"I continue to be amazed by Democrat double-talk. Earlier this week, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid insisted that Republican infighting was the cause for delay in consideration of the US-India nuclear agreement. The fact is that Democrats have obstructed the passage of this crucial agreement every step of the way," South Carolina Republican Joe Wilson said.
The senior lawmaker's statement comes at a time when both Republicans and Democrats in the Senate are trying to find ways to come to terms with a "Unanimous Consent Agreement" that will bring the civilian nuclear deal legislation to the floor for a debate and vote.
"Prior to Republican-led passage in the House, Democrats made a last-ditch effort to defeat the measure. Led by Senator Reid, Senate Democrats are using the same tactics to eviscerate this important bill," Wilson, the former co-chair of the Congressional caucus on India and Indian Americans, alleged.
"Sadly for the people of India, Democrats' political manoeuvring could prove costly. If not approved this weekend, Senate Republican leaders will have an opportunity to bring up the measure in a lame-duck session.If Democrats continue their "obstructionist ways," implementation of the deal will be pushed to 2007, he warned.
"It is no wonder that more Indian Americans are finding a friend in the Republican Party as they continue to be alienated by Democrats," he said.