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US House approves US-India Nuclear deal

US House approves US-India Nuclear deal

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives gave final approval to the U.S.-India Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Initiative with a bipartisan vote of 298-117.  The bill must now be approved by the Senate.  There are already reports that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice may fly to New Delhi shortly to complete the process.

Approval of this is expected to open up business opportunities for companies such as General Electric, Westinghouse, Bechtel and Stone/Webster as India prepare to spend up to $100 billion on new nuclear power plants. French and Russian companies are also likely to compete for this business.

There’s been a lot of malarkey about the agreement. Some of  this malarkey  comes from the democratic congressman from Massachussetts,  Rep Ed Malarkey, eh Markey.  He argued incredibly that ” opposing the bill did not mean opposing India. This is a debate about Iran. This is a debate about North Korea, about Pakistan, about Venezuela, about any other country in the world that harbors the goal of acquiring nuclear weapons,” You can listen to it here http://markey.house.gov/ .

The deal has made it through Congress so far in just a few weeks since the Nuclear Supplier Group gave the nod in early September. But AFP reports today that “The agreement had long been stalled in Congress,”.  It seems that both Rep Markey and the AFP are distracted by the financial meltdown.

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