This bill would amend the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, which authorized the president to negotiate and implement nuclear cooperation agreements with other countries barring a congressional joint resolution of disapproval, to require a stronger congressional review process. Mainly it would require Congress to pass a joint resolution of approval before the implementation of any such agreement. The bill would also prohibit any foreign aid to a country that the secretary of state determines to have supported the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, inter alia.
Ros-Lehtinen and her initial cosponsors submitted this bill amid reports that the Trump administration was pursuing a sale of nuclear reactors to Saudi Arabia, despite Saudi refusals to accept certain nonproliferation conditions. In her press release announcing the bill, Ros-Lehtinen framed the bill in that context: “Nuclear cooperation agreements—especially in an unstable region like the Middle East—are very serious issues for U.S. national security and should always contain restrictions on the enrichment and reprocessing necessary for a nuclear weapon.”