Top Senate Leader to Push India Deal

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Senate's top Democrat will press for passage of a nuclear cooperation deal with India.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid met with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice today. A spokesman says the Nevada Democrat will "try to move it forward" this year. The accord is one of President Bush's top foreign policy initiatives. It would ship atomic fuel to India in return for international inspections of the country's civilian reactors.

With only about three weeks left before Congress is scheduled to recess for the November elections, lawmakers' support is crucial. The Bush administration needs their help to overcome a law that says Congress may not ratify the accord for 30 working days after receiving it. Legislation will be needed to scrap the waiting period, otherwise it doesn't look like Congress will have enough time left to ratify the deal before Bush leaves office.

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