“I’d like to understand what Plan B is,” Chairman Bob Corker told Blinken. “The mysterious Plan B that has been referred to since February, the Plan B that was supposed to be leveraged to get Russia to quit killing innocent people, that would get Assad to stop killing innocent people. Just explain to us the elements of Plan B.”
President Obama has decided to seek a new United Nations Security Council resolution that would call for an end to nuclear testing, a move that leading lawmakers are calling an end run around Congress.
Top administration officials, including Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, briefed lawmakers and congressional staffers this week about President Obama’s decision to push for the U.N. action this September, to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which was adopted in September 1996 but was never ratified by the Senate. Continue reading
A bilateral nuclear cooperation agreement was signed between the United States and China in 1985. Because the agreement is expected to expire by the end of this year, the Obama administration plans to make a new deal known as 123 agreement with China based on the Atomic Energy Act. It will help regulate the sharing of nuclear technology. During the hearing held on May 12 on the new agreement, Corker said that China is in violation of the current agreement as it provided a US nuclear reactor to Pakistan. Continue reading
Russia, China and other major developing countries — angry about the stalemate on Capitol Hill that has blocked approval of a reform plan that would give them a bigger voting share at the International Monetary Fund — are pushing to go ahead with the reforms without waiting for the United States.
U.S. and IMF officials insist that the reforms — including changes in voting shares designed to reflect shifts in the global economy and a doubling of the IMF’s lending authority — cannot go into effect without approval by Congress, as the U.S. continues to wield veto power over major decisions and activities of the IMF under current voting formulas. Continue reading