Schneider Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Seek Information on Saudi Nuclear Capability
Today, U.S. Representative Brad Schneider (D-IL) and Mark Meadows (R-NC), both members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced bipartisan legislation to more closely examine the national and regional security consequences if Saudi Arabia obtains nuclear fuel enrichment capability.
Specifically, H.R. 6894 would require the President to submit to Congress a report within 180 days evaluating the “national security interests of the United States and regional allies, including Israel of Saudi Arabia obtaining nuclear fuel enrichment capabilities through a commercial sale.” The legislation was prompted by news reports that the Trump Administration is considering permitting Saudi Arabia to enrich and reprocess uranium as part of a deal to allow American companies to build nuclear reactors in the Middle East kingdom.
“We must ensure any energy deal with Saudi Arabia does not spark an arms race in the Middle East or accelerate nuclear proliferation in the region,” said Schneider. “It’s also vital that we consider the security implications of a Saudi nuclear sale on our closest ally in the region, Israel. Our bipartisan bill would help ensure Congress is informed and the Administration fully considers the national security consequences of a nuclear transfer to Saudi Arabia.”
“Nuclear proliferation remains a real threat and one which is too often overlooked,” said Meadows. “It’s Congress’ responsibility to require a close examination of the implications of a new Saudi Arabian nuclear fuel enrichment capacity. When terrorist organizations have demonstrated an interest in obtaining nuclear fissile material, and when our ally Israel and other states in the region have longstanding tensions, our government must be cautious and informed about the implications of a nuclear transfer to any state in the Middle East. I’m proud to have worked with my colleague Representative Schneider on this bill, and I applaud him for his continued vigilance in combating nuclear proliferation.”