Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Henry J. Hyde, Chairman

CONTACT: Sam Stratman, (202) 226-7875, March 13, 2006

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For IMMEDIATE Release

Hyde: Hearings on U.S.-India Nuclear Cooperation Set to Begin Later in March            

            (WASHINGTON) - U.S. Rep. Henry J. Hyde (R-IL), Chairman of the House International Relations Committee, said today that hearings on the U.S.-India “global partnership,” announced by President George W. Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on July 14, will begin later in March and focus on the recently concluded agreement on civil nuclear cooperation. 

            “This is a complex agreement with profound implications for U.S. and global interests.  Congress will need to take a close look at its many provisions in order to come to an informed decision,” Hyde said.

            Hyde met on Thursday with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to discuss the proposal.  Hyde and the committee’s ranking member, Tom Lantos (D-CA), agreed to introduce the agreement’s enabling legislation at the request of the Bush Administration, but Hyde suggested that Congress may seek conditions for its approval.

“The issues involved are complicated and technical, and it will take some time for Congress to absorb them as we move the agreement to fruition,” Lantos noted.  “I view the new strategic alliance between the world’s oldest and largest democracies as a breakthrough, but all members of Congress will undoubtedly wish to see the details of the agreement before deciding how to vote.”

           Legislation amending the Atomic Energy Act is necessary to authorize U.S.-Indian nuclear cooperation because India has never adopted the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and, therefore, cannot meet the prerequisites set out in current U.S. law.

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