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N-deal may get push to Senate floor on Tuesday

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September 21, 2008 18:54 IST

With only five legislative days left before the US Congress is scheduled to adjourn, the Indo-US nuclear deal is literally down to the wires, with the first real opportunity to push the initiative to Senate floor expected to arise on Tuesday.

The big question doing the rounds is whether the Bush Administration will be able to persuade the lawmakers to complete the process on time.

But what could be seen as a positive development for India, there are indications that given the economic stabilisation package that is being worked on, the Congress may not formally adjourn on September 26, but extend for a week till October 3.

No one in the administration or the Capitol Hill is willing to speculate on when or how the civilian nuclear initiative resolution is going to get the Congressional nod.

But one of the first substantive moves could come on Tuesday at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee mark-up when lawmakers on the panel could decide the push the initiative to the Senate floor.

Some legislative aides and experts are taking the position that the civilian nuclear agreement may be attached to an omnibus 'continuing resolution' on appropriations.

One of the top items now meriting huge attention in the administration and in Congress is the massive financial bailout package to stabilise the markets.

This package will have to be first hammered out between the House and the Senate and agreeable to the White House.

Sridhar Krishnaswami in Washington
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