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Scoop: Uranium ban left out of spending bill

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Mar 19, 2024
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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Legislation to ban uranium imports from Russia won't be included in the second minibus package, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The uranium supply chain money Congress has already passed into law — $2.7 billion — is contingent on limiting imports from Russia.

Driving the news: Committee leaders and outside groups had been pushing to attach the ban to the second spending bill.

  • But it was left out of the final package, which is expected to include few policy provisions of any kind, according to a Senate aide who spoke on condition of anonymity.
  • The ban bill passed the House but has been stymied in the Senate by an unrelated dispute with Sen. Ted Cruz.

Context: The first minibus, signed into law earlier this month, included the $2.7 billion in reprogrammed money for enriched uranium supply and to implement the Nuclear Fuel Security Act.

  • But the money can't be used "until a law is enacted or administrative action is taken to prohibit or limit importation" of Russian enriched uranium.

What's next: Leadership has a deal on spending, but we're still waiting to see final text.

  • Supporters of the ban will likely need to find another legislative vehicle if they can't solve the dispute with Cruz.
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