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Grassley Presses for Action on Nuclear Terrorism Bill

This news story was published on December 10, 2012.
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U.S. Senator Charles Grassley

WASHINGTON – An amendment from Senator Chuck Grassley to the Defense Authorization bill that mirrors his legislation to implement two treaties, one on nuclear and radiological terrorism and another on preventing nuclear proliferation was blocked by the Majority party.

“Swift implementation of these treaties is important to national security.  That’s why including my amendment in the Defense Authorization bill that corrects a drafting error in the House passed bill, and adds provisions sought by the President, was the right thing to do,” Grassley said.  “It’s unfortunate that partisan politics won the day in getting these treaties implemented.”

Both treaties were ratified by the Senate in 2008 by strong bi-partisan votes and require implementing legislation.  Legislation passed by the House of Representatives includes a drafting error that requires an amendment to ensure proper implementation.  The House-passed bill also fails to include important provisions that were in President Obama’s proposal for implementing the treaties.  Those provisions include the imposition of the death penalty for nuclear terrorism and related offenses, wiretap authorization for investigating these offenses, and authorization of the prosecution of financiers and others who support terrorists who commit these offenses.

Before recessing for the election, Grassley had sought expedited approval of the House-passed legislation implementing the treaties with an amendment that corrects the drafting error and adds the provisions important to President Obama.  The House-passed bill and Grassley’s provisions cleared the Republican side of the Senate, but stalled on the Democratic side.

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