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Recess Subject to the Call of the Chair

Location: Washington, DC

RECESS SUBJECT TO THE CALL OF THE CHAIR -- (Senate - November 16, 2006)


Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I rise in support of S. 3709, the United States-India, Peaceful Atomic Energy Cooperation Act, legislation which will permit the United States to export nuclear material to India for peaceful purposes.

I applaud President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for taking this bold, new and welcome approach to America's bilateral relations with India. For too long our relations with India and Pakistan have resembled a zero-sum game--by helping one nation, we have been perceived as hurting the other.

This agreement helps to liberate U.S. policy from this false choice; the United States can and should enjoy positive relations with both nations. This bill will broaden and deepen America's emerging strategic partnership with India.

This legislation is also part of a broader framework for the United States and India to work together on many issues, including energy, defense cooperation, anti-terrorism efforts and the promotion of democracy. S. 3709 will strengthen the world's security by expanding the reach of international non-proliferation efforts, and will increase transparency about India's civilian nuclear program.

In addition, this bill will boost America's energy security by helping India meet its growing energy needs with nuclear power. With a population over one billion, India has greatly increased the demand for energy, helping to raise energy prices on the world market. The more power India can get from other sources, the less Americans will have to pay for energy here at home.

This bill will also foster economic growth in America by opening up new opportunities for American companies to do business in India's civilian nuclear sector. By passing this legislation, my colleagues will help create new jobs for Americans and new markets for American firms.

I want to commend my good friend from the neighboring State of Indiana, Senator LUGAR, for his sponsorship of this bill and his successful shepherding of it through the Senate.

Mr. President, improving U.S.-Indian ties is long overdue. After all, America and India are the worlds two largest democracies. As President Bush continues to champion the spread of democracy abroad, it is entirely fitting that our two countries should continue to strengthen our strategic partnership, as a model for the world of what democracies can accomplish when they work together in peace.

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