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House of Representatives votes out hurdle in N-deal
Aziz Haniffa in Washington, DC | December 09, 2006 01:17 IST
Last Updated: December 09, 2006 12:53 IST
The United States House of Representatives approved the conference committee enabling legislation to facilitate the US-India civilian nuclear agreement by a massive margin of 330-59.
It sent the bill directly to the Senate, which is expected to also pass it unanimously by a voice vote.
As was with the earlier House vote, Republicans voted in massive numbers for the bill with 193 Republicans voting for and 5 against while 135 Democrats voted for it and 53 against it. The remaining members did not vote.
The passing of the rule means that when lawmakers debate the deal no new amendments will be allowed.
What the lawmakers have done by approving this rule, established by the Rules Committee, is to set the parameters for the final debate on the civilian nuclear legislation on the floor of the House later in the day.
The division on the rule came after a lone Democrat, Ohio's Dennis Kucinich, demanded the ayes and nays after the Chair ruled that the ayes had prevailed in the voice vote.
"This is great news," Congressman Joseph Crowley, who was instrumental in pushing the bill, said.
"With the final version of this legislation approved for this historic agreement between India and the United States to move forward, the Congress has provided realistic parameters for the benefit of both our nations. Now the ball falls into the President's and the Indian government's court to move forward, and ensure a positive relation between India and the United States well into this century."
Congressman Tom Lantos, ranking Democrat on the House International Relations Committee, said the he legislation will help fashion a partnership with India to further US nonproliferation goals.
"The passage of the conference report will also adopt the implementing legislation for the US-IAEA Additional Protocol. That legislation will finally allow us to bring that Protocol into force, which will promote the US goal of all states adopting the enhanced safeguards contained in the Additional Protocol," he said.