N-deal has Capitol Hill to climb
The Indo-US nuke deal appears to have hit rough turf on Capitol Hill for the time being with lawmakers pulling up the administration for presuming that a congressional nod is 'virtually guaranteed'.india Updated: Feb 28, 2006 02:08 IST
The Indo-US nuke deal appears to have hit rough turf on Capitol Hill for the time being with senior lawmakers pulling up the administration for presuming that a congressional nod is "virtually guaranteed". Plus, non-proliferation experts want India to be subjected to new conditions.
Indicating that they are in no hurry to reach a decision, the lawmakers have asked Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for a substantive discussion on the larger implications of the legal changes needed to give effect the deal.
Henry Hyde, chairman of the House International Relations Committee, said on Wednesday that it would be "grossly irresponsible for this committee and for Congress as a whole to act with unnecessary haste regarding a subject which can bear no false steps".
Hyde's comments came in the wake of Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns' recent statements, exuding confidence that Congress will approve the deal by the time President Bush visits India in early 2006. "I do not understand how these statements could be made with Congress having yet to be fully consulted."
He also faulted the administration for not taking Congress into confidence on the nitty-gritty of the deal. As he put it, the situation is "both strange and unusual in that the Indian authorities know more about this important proposal than we in Congress".