24 Sep :Advancing the hope for the early Indo-US nuclear accord, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted to approve the bill by 19 to 2 and send it to full Congress.
The two law makers who voted against the deal were Senators Barbara Boxer (by proxy) and Russel Feingold, both Democrats.
Democratic Presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama and the Vice Presidental candidate Senator Joseph Biden, currently the Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, voted by proxies to move the agreement to the Senate floor.The business sitting of the powerful Senate panel saw the Wisconsin Democrat Senator Feingold came out with his amendment that essentially required certification that the 45-member NSG has amended its guidelines to prohibit the transfer of enrichment and reprocessing technology to any state that is not a party to the Non-Priliferation Treaty (NPT).
"The President may not exchange diplomatic notes pursuant to Article 16(1) of the 5 Agreement unless the President certifies to the appropriate congressional committees that the NSG has amended its guidelines to prohibit the transfer of technology related to the enrichment of uranium and reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel to any state that is not a party to the NPT," the amendment by Feingold said.
The amendment was quickly rejected by 15 to 4 margin with two Senators not voting – Senators Obama and Robert Menendez, Democrat from New Jersey.
The four Senators who voted for the Feingold Amendment were all Democrats-Senators Feingold, Boxer, Robert Casey of Pennsylvania and James Webb of Virginia, the last three by proxies.DDINEWS