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Statement by Congressman Gary Ackerman on U.S.-India nuclear agreement

Queens & Long Island
5th District - New York
March 2, 2006

U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY), Democratic co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans and a senior member of the House International Relations Committee, today issued the following statement on the securing of the civilian nuclear energy agreement between India and the United States. The deal was announced today by President Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during the President's trip to India. Since India is not a signatory Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), Mr. Bush must seek an exemption from Congress in order for the nuclear agreement to be concluded. 

"Although I strongly differ with President Bush on a broad range of issues both domestically and internationally, I agree with him on the subject of the U.S.-India nuclear deal. India is worthy of a new era of cooperation with the United States on civilian use of nuclear power and the agreement is the right strategic choice.

Unfortunately, while the president is right on the merits, he's short on the plan for getting it passed. The president has, thus far, done a horrendous job of convincing Congress that the agreement is a good idea. Now that there is an agreement with India, he must get to work and make the case to Congress or else the nuclear deal will blow up in his face. The benefits of the deal are obvious to me, but there are many Members of Congress who do not support the agreement and are already working to defeat it. It was tough work to seal the deal while in India, but the President's true difficulties with it, now lie here at home."