Rep. Cliff Stearns
U.S. House of
Amendment to the U.S. and India Nuclear
Cooperation Promotion Act of 2006
July 26, 2006
Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such
time as I may consume.
My amendment to this bill would
clarify and reinforce the intent of Congress that nuclear cooperation into
which the governments of the United States
would enter is for peaceful and productive purposes and not military
purposes. And I think a lot of us who view this bill have some concerns.
Now, the intent of this amendment
is obviously woven throughout this legislation, but I thought an elevated
position by a sense of Congress in what we are talking about perhaps would
alleviate some of the colleagues, particularly the gentleman from Massachusetts. It
bears reiterating that this country stands for peace and not war.
While India has agreed to allow
monitoring at 14 of their nuclear reactors to ensure fuel is not used for
weapons, my colleagues, there are eight other reactors and an unknown number
of future reactors that can produce material for military purposes, free of
any oversight or control. It is, indeed, obviously, an improvement in the
status quo for India to
open up any of its reactors to oversight, but the dangers inherent in further
nuclear development are clear.
These are unsettling times in
nuclear proliferation. Iran
and North Korea,
for example, have violated their responsibilities under the Nuclear
Nonproliferation Treaty and are producing or attempting to produce
significant arsenals of nuclear weapons. Pakistan was aided and abetted
with nuclear capability.
Support for today's legislation,
and for broader cooperation with India, crosses party lines. We
all understand that. We all support India. It is a burgeoning
multiethnic, multireligious, free market democracy,
has a firm rule of law and respect for personal liberties. These are all
good. As such, India
presents a hearty example, like the United States, for the world to
follow. Clearly, the nation of India is and should be our friend,
and we respect it.
However, my colleagues,
has refused to sign, as mentioned before, the 1968 Nuclear
Nonproliferation Treaty. It refuses to accept full scope of the International
Atomic Energy Agency safeguards over all its nuclear facilities, and India
continues to produce fissile materials for its growing nuclear arsenal. These
have been brought to our attention.
But, moreover, India is no
stranger to violating international nuclear commitments to use nuclear
assistance for civilian purposes. In 1974, it detonated a
nuclear bomb manufactured using plutonium from a Canadian-supplied
nuclear reactor, with heavy water provided by the U.S. Both countries had provided India with
nuclear technology based on commitment to peaceful use.
Now, my colleagues, the former
chairman of the Armed Services Committee, Sam Nunn, wrote recently in The
Wall Street Journal: ``There is every reason to suspect that Pakistan and
China will react to this deal by ratcheting up their own suspicions and
nuclear activities, including making additional weapons material and
So, Mr. Chairman, we should avoid
fanning the flames here of a regional nuclear arms race. I think all of us
remember President Reagan's words when he mentioned in a radio address on
April 17, 1982, “A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”
So I think this amendment is
basically a sense of Congress, a straightforward sense, to give us more
assurance that what we are trying to do here is to help them in a peaceful
way. We seek friendship and peace with all nations, particularly India, but we
will not purchase this friendship with nuclear arms.
[Agreed to by
recorded vote: 414 - 0 (Roll
See the original in the Congressional
Record on Pages H5919
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