House approves US-Indian nuclear cooperation bill

Lawmakers in the House of Representatives gave overwhelming final approval to legislation allowing US shipments of civilian nuclear fuel to India. Now the Senate will consider the bill - the last step before the measure could be sent to President George W. Bush to sign into law. The vote in the House on Friday was 330-59. The Senate was expected to take up the measure later Friday, although lawmakers were working into the night on a host of other issues. Approval in the Senate appeared likely, which would hand Bush a rare foreign policy victory. Bush's popularity has plummeted over anger over the war in Iraq, and Democrats stand poised to take control of Congress from Bush's Republican Party when a new session begins in January. Despite strong criticism from several lawmakers and from nonproliferation groups, the bill enjoyed strong support from senior lawmakers from both political parties who championed it as a major shift in US policy toward a democratic Asian power that has long maintained what the Bush administration considers a responsible nuclear program.