|USINPAC - Washington, D.C., March 2, 2006.
USINPAC applauds the civic nuclear cooperation agreed to today by President Bush and Prime Minister Singh and vows to continue its work with key Members of Congress to make this a reality.
Undersecretary Nicolas Burns, the White House's point man on this issue, reiterated the necessity of Congressional approval of the nuclear deal. â€œCongress will now play the key role,â€ Undersecretary Burns said. â€œThe executive branch, of course, has had the initiative to make the deal, but this deal requires a change in United States law, and Congress obviously will have to do that."
Sanjay Puri, Chairman of USINPAC, said, "This is an historic step for both countries and USINPAC stands with President Bush and Prime Minister Singh in moving this process forward. In fact, for the past eight months, USINPAC has aggressively worked to get key Members of Congress on board and we will not rest until this agreement is signed into law."
Specifically, USINPAC has been working with Members of the House and Senate International and Foreign Relations Committees which have broad jurisdiction and responsibility for examining the specific provisions of this agreement. In a letter dated November 8, 2005 and delivered to Ambassador Ranendra Sen at an event hosted by USINPAC, Congressman Tom Lantos (D-CA), Ranking Member of the House Committee on International Relations, pledged his support. He said, "I wish to assure you of my commitment to work with you as we begin the process of undertaking a civic nuclear cooperation agreement between the U.S. and India. I will also continue to work with the Indian American community represented by my very able and good friend, Mr. Sanjay Puri."
Congressman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), a senior member of the House International Relations Committee, said, '"President Bush has shown outstanding leadership by transforming our relations with India, which is the world's largest democracy and a key ally in the fight against terrorism. Of the many important issues we work on with India, the issue that is receiving the majority of Congress's attention is the issue of civilian nuclear cooperation. USINPAC has been educating my colleagues and me since the beginning stages, and I look forward to continuing to work with them on issues relating to an expanded U.S.-India global partnership."
Congressman Eni Faleomavaega, Ranking Member of the House International Relations Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific and Co-Chair of the Congressional Taskforce on US-India Investment and Trade Relations, also applauded the agreement and the work of USINPAC. â€œI commend President Bush and Prime Minister Singh in reaching this long overdue agreement and, as Congress now considers this matter, I am hopeful that my colleagues will fully welcome India as our partner. Having served on the International Relations Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific for almost twenty years, I also commend USINPAC for its efforts. No other organization has worked harder or been more effective in giving voice to India and Indian Americans and, in these historical times, USINPAC is to be applauded for the work it is doing to strengthen US-India relations and shore up support for the civic nuclear cooperation agreement.â€