US says time running out on US-India nuclear agreement

The United States said Thursday that "time is running out" on a landmark U.S.-Indian civil nuclear deal but suggested the deal could be taken up during the next US administration if a political squabble in India blocks it this year. State Department spokesman Tom Casey told reporters that "time is running out to be able to give this current Congress the opportunity to consider this arrangement." "Obviously, though, there would be opportunities in future Congresses and with the future administration to move forward on this," Casey said. Lawmakers need to begin considering the pact soon because they leave for a break in August and many will then begin campaigning for November elections. But the deal is still bogged down India, where it faces fierce domestic opposition. Communist parties that are key to the survival of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government have threatened to pull their support if Singh tries to finalize the deal.