Nuclear Deal Will Undermine Nuclear Non-Proliferation

The United States has few, if any, better friends than India. I feel strongly that the United States and India are destined to be great partners as they seek to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century. One of these challenges is the need to develop new sources of energy. The Indian economy is growing by leaps and bounds, offering new opportunities, not only for India itself, but for India's partners as well. India will need to develop ten of thousands of megawatts of new power capacity in the next few years to meet this need and lift India's poorest from poverty.

But there is another twenty-first challenge that India and the United States must meet together. And that is the challenge of nuclear proliferation, particularly the threat of nuclear weapons in the hands of extremist governments and terrorist movements. India is, and has been, a trusted partner in meeting this challenge. I have no doubt that India is a reliable steward of nuclear technology. But my concerns extend beyond India. I do not fear India with nuclear power. I do fear a world where both India and the United States must face a nuclear Iran or a nuclear North Korea. Our key tool for constraining the nuclear designs of Iran and North Korea has been the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, or NPT. But I fear that this legislation will damage the NPT to the point that we will make it harder to stop the Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs.

The U.S./India partnership is too strong to be harmed by one piece of legislation. I believe that, if we continue working with India, we can find ways to address our mutual security concerns and energy needs. But I feel this legislation fails to meet either challenge.

Furthermore, I have concerns about our own constitutional processes here in the United States. Acceptance or rejection of any arrangement with India must include a full role for the United States Congress. The President cannot change American law without Congress's consent. I believe any such agreement with any foreign country must be approved by Congress.