Washington, Sept 27 : A key weekend session of the US Congress has begun in the House of Representatives, which is set to vote on the landmark legislation approving the Indo-US nuclear deal as the fate of the bill in the Senate remains unclear.
On Friday, the House completed the debate and is expected to take up the landmark legislation for voting on Saturday afternoon (early on Sunday in India).
However, Senate Majority leader Harry Reid had indicated that the legislation on the subject in the upper Chamber will be taken up and passed only next week.
Support for the nuclear deal came from House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman, a known opponent of the deal, who said, "The deal is a positive step as it will bring India into the non-proliferation regime."
The bill before us today will approve the US-India agreement for peaceful nuclear cooperation," Democrat Edward Markey, who led the charge on behalf of those opposed to the Bill, insisted on a recorded vote at the end of the debate.
The debate on the House floor brought out law makers along expected lines in supporting and opposing the revised Bill introduced by Chairman Berman, who had reservations over the deal and is understood to have brought the second version after senior Bush Administration officials talked to him on the need for early nod to the civil nuclear initiative.
However, the Congressman said he still has concerns about ambiguities in the agreement and that several documents should be inserted to clarify these.
For most part of the debate, the support for the Bill came along bi-partisan lines.
The US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has lent strong support to the Indo-US nuclear deal.