Sending Office: Honorable Brad Sherman
All of you are aware of recent events which underscore the reasons why we should oppose a Saudi nuclear program unless Congress determines that there are adequate safeguards, and that it is in our national interest.
The Administration has been negotiating a Nuclear Cooperation Agreement (called a 123 Agreement) that would allow America to cooperate with Saudi Arabia’s purportedly “peaceful” nuclear energy program. While Saudi Arabia has boundless oil and natural gas,
Saudi officials have announced that they want to use nuclear technology to generate electricity. At the same time, they have strongly hinted that this nuclear program is designed to give that government the option of developing nuclear weapons.
Under current law, the Administration can negotiate a Nuclear Cooperation Agreement with modest safety standards, and it goes into effect unless both houses of Congress pass a joint resolution opposing it. Since the President can veto this joint resolution,
this means that it is very difficult for Congress to prevent a Nuclear Agreement from going into effect.
That is why we have introduced the Saudi Nuclear Nonproliferation Act of 2019. This bill would prohibit a future Nuclear Agreement with Saudi Arabia from going into effect until it is approved by a majority vote in both houses of Congress. It would
also direct the Administration to use its influence at the Nuclear Suppliers Group to prevent other countries from selling nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia until it has a Nuclear Cooperation Agreement with the United States.
The bill also directs future Congresses to examine any proposed agreement using the following criteria: does the agreement achieve the “Gold Standard” of restrictions and inspections to ensure that Saudi Arabia will never develop a nuclear weapon; has the
Saudi government been truthful and transparent with regard to the death of Jamal Khashoggi; and has the Saudi government made substantial progress on human rights, including the release of political prisoners.
For more information or to co-sponsor the Saudi Nuclear Nonproliferation Act of 2019
please contact Zachary Keck (Zachary.Keck@mail.house.gov) in Congressman Sherman’s office or James Walsh (James.Walsh@mail.house.gov) in Congressman
Brad Sherman Ted Yoho
Member of Congress Member of Congress
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0