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Killer amendment killed, but Hillary votes for it
Aziz Haniffa in Washington, DC | November 17, 2006 06:53 IST
The killer amendment to the Nuclear Bill introduced by United States Senator Russ Feingold, Wisconsin Democrat and a strong critic of the Indo-US nuclear deal, was today defeated by the Senate 71-25.
Despite the overwhelming numbers, the surprise element for India was that Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, co-chair of the Friends of India Caucus voted for the Feingold Amendment. Others India counted upon as being in its corner but who voted in favour of the amendment were Senators from Illinois, both Democrats Richard Durbin and Barack Obama as well as longtime India and Indian American community friend, Senator Edward M Kennedy of Massachusetts as did both Democratic
Both the California Senators, Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein, voted again for this killer amendment as they had done for the previous ones.
Senator Feingold was one of two Senators on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who voted against the legislation in July (when it was overwhelmingly approved by this panel by a 16-2 margin) on Tuesday said: "We must ensure that as we build a closer strategic relationship with India, one of our most important partners, we do not simultaneously weaken our efforts to stop the widespread proliferation of nuclear weapons."
Feingold had said he intended to offer an amendment to ensure that US nuclear assistance to India is civilian in nature and will not be used to further develop India's nuclear weapons capability, "in line with America's current treaty obligations".