Sending Office: Honorable Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
COSPONSOR HR 5357 – The Nuclear Cooperation Reform Act of 2018
We write to urge your co-sponsorship of HR 5357, the Nuclear Cooperation Reform Act of 2018, introduced
by Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, Brad Sherman (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, and Ted Poe (R-TX) and William Keating (D-MA), the respective
Chairman and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade, in the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
HR 5357 seeks to ensure that U.S. partner countries in any civilian nuclear cooperation agreement (known as Section 123 agreements for the section of the Atomic Energy Act that governs such agreements) renounce the pursuit of enrichment and reprocessing
technologies that give them a pathway to nuclear weapons. This “Gold Standard” of renouncing enrichment and reprocessing was accepted by the United Arab Emirates in its Section 123 agreement. A diverse array of
experts have called to include this standard in all or most future Section 123 agreements, because abandoning the Gold Standard will aid the spread of nuclear weapons.
Currently, Section 123 agreements are negotiated by the President and automatically go into effect after 90 days of continuous session unless Congress adopts a joint resolution of disapproval. The guaranteed presidential veto of such a resolution in effect
requires a 2/3 majority in both Houses to stop these agreements, a barrier that greatly undermines Congressional input. HR 5357 will require a stronger Congressional approval process, including an affirmative vote, for Section 123 agreements that fail to
meet the Gold Standard.
Nuclear cooperation agreements without enrichment and reprocessing restrictions must be fully and openly scrutinized and debated and then face an up or down vote of approval from Congress. Congress has robust debates on Free Trade Agreements, which are then
subject to an up or down vote. Section 123 agreements and the serious issue of nuclear proliferation are far more important for the national security of the United States, and should, at the very least, be afforded the same type of Congressional oversight
as a free trade agreement.
For too long, the Executive Branch has been able to minimize Congress’ role in approving nuclear cooperation agreements. The Legislative Branch must reassert its proper oversight role by requiring a stronger Congressional approval process that results in
stronger protections against nuclear proliferation in our nuclear cooperation agreements. As the Arms Control Association has noted, it is “past time that Congress pursued revisions to the Atomic Energy Act procedures for Congressional review of 123 agreements,”
so that such agreements are subject to greater oversight resulting in stronger nonproliferation provisions.
For more information, or to be added as a cosponsor, please contact
Golan.Rodgers@mail.house.gov with Rep. Ros-Lehtinen’s Middle East and North Africa subcommittee. We hope you will consider co-sponsoring this important bill.
ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN BRAD SHERMAN
Member of Congress Member of Congress
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0