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Senator Dick Lugar's statement on Indo-US N-deal bill
March 17, 2006 01:33 IST
The Bush administration's proposed legislation on the US-India Civilian Nuclear Agreement was introduced in the House and Senate Thursday at the request of the administration. Below is Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Dick Lugar's statement for the Congressional Record:
"I rise today to introduce, at the request of the administration, its proposed legislation to implement the recently concluded US-India Civilian Nuclear Agreement.
"By providing this draft legislation to the Senate and the House of Representatives, the administration has taken the first step in initiating the Congressional review of the US-Indian Civilian Nuclear Agreement. The Committee on Foreign Relations has held one hearing on the issue thus far. Under Secretaries of State Nick Burns and Bob Joseph, as well as outside experts testified on the matter. Last week I joined with a number of House and Senate colleagues in discussing the agreement with President Bush at the White House. In recent weeks I have met repeatedly with administration officials on this matter and look forward to commencing the Committee on Foreign Relation's review of the agreement.
"The Committee on Foreign Relations will review the proposed nuclear cooperation agreement, the Indian separation plan, and this legislation closely. The committee will commence the review with a classified briefing from Under Secretaries Nick Burns and Bob Joseph the last week of March. During the first week of April, Secretary Rice will testify in an open hearing. The week we return from the Easter Congressional recess, the committee will receive testimony from panels of outside experts who both support and oppose the agreement. This schedule should be looked on as the beginning of the oversight and review process; it is possible additional committee hearings and briefings will be necessary.
"I look forward to working with my colleagues and the administration to review this agreement to fulfill our constitutional role on this important matter."