Friday, September 7, 2007

Key Senate Amendments to State, Foreign Operations Bill on North Korea and Nuclear Threat Reduction

By a vote of 81-12, the Senate passed yesterday H.R. 2764, the 2008 Department of State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Act, with two key amendments on North Korea and nuclear threat reduction. The former amendment provides continued support for informal dialogue relating to North Korea, while the latter requires a comprehensive nuclear threat reduction and security plan. The full text of both is provided below.

Leahy Modified Amendment No. 2767, to provide continued support for informal dialogue relating to North Korea. [adopted by voice vote]

On page 255, line 5, before the period, insert the following:

"Provided further, That of the funds appropriated under this heading, not more than $500,000 should be made available for the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration to support initiatives which bring together public officials and private individuals from nations involved in the Six-Party Talks for informal discussions on resolving the North Korea nuclear issue:''

Leahy (for Obama/Hagel) Amendment No. 2692, to require a comprehensive nuclear threat reduction and security plan. [adopted by voice vote]

On page 410, between lines 15 and 16, insert the following:


Sec. 699B. (a) Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall submit to Congress a comprehensive nuclear threat reduction and security plan, in classified and unclassified forms--

(1) for ensuring that all nuclear weapons and weapons-usable material at vulnerable sites are secure by 2012 against the threats that terrorists have shown they can pose;

(2) for working with other countries to ensure adequate accounting and security for such materials on an ongoing basis thereafter; and

(3) for making security improvements to ensure, to the maximum extent possible, that the existing U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile and weapons-usable material are protected from the threats terrorists have shown they can pose.

(b) For each element of the accounting and security effort described under subsection (a)(2), the plan shall--

(1) clearly designate agency and departmental responsibility and accountability;

(2) specify program goals, with metrics for measuring progress, estimated schedules, and specified milestones to be achieved;

(3) provide estimates of the program budget requirements and resources to meet the goals for each year;

(4) provide the strategy for diplomacy and related tools and authority to accomplish the program element;

(5) provide a strategy for expanding the financial support and other assistance provided by other countries, particularly Russia, the European Union and its member states, China, and Japan, for the purposes of securing nuclear weapons and weapons-usable material worldwide;

(6) outline the progress in and impediments to securing agreement from all countries that possess nuclear weapons or weapons-usable material on a set of global nuclear security standards, consistent with their obligation to comply with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540;

(7) describe the steps required to overcome impediments that have been identified; and

(8) describe global efforts to promulgate best practices for securing nuclear materials.

(c) Sense of the Senate. The Administration shall not sign any agreement with the Russian Federation on low enriched uranium that does not include a requirement that a portion of the low enriched uranium be derived from highly enriched uranium.

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