Chairman Royce, Rep. Holding Request Joint Meeting of Congress with India’s Prime Minister

Jun 20, 2014

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and U.S. Rep. George Holding (R-NC), sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner requesting that Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, be granted the opportunity to address a Joint Meeting of Congress.  Prime Minister Modi is scheduled to travel to Washington, D.C. in September.

In the letter to Speaker Boehner, Chairman Royce and Rep. Holding write: “As you know, India is a critical partner of the United States.  In every aspect – whether it be in political, economic or security relations – the United States has no more important partner in South Asia.  It is not an overstatement to say that the U.S.-India relationship will be one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century.”

The signed letter to Speaker Boehner is available HERE.

The text of the letter follows:

June 20, 2014

The Honorable John A. Boehner
Speaker of the House
H-232, The Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Speaker Boehner:

We are writing to request that Mr. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, be granted the honor of addressing a Joint Meeting of Congress when he travels to Washington, D.C. this September. With more than 500 million people voting in the recent Indian election, it was both the world’s largest democratic event and an historic moment for India. The U.S. must now work closely with Prime Minister Modi to strengthen the important relationship between the two countries.

As you know, India is a critical partner of the United States.  In every aspect – whether it be in political, economic or security relations – the United States has no more important partner in South Asia.  It is not an overstatement to say that the U.S.-India relationship will be one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century.

We are optimistic that the mandate given to Prime Minister Modi will help India thrive economically.  Under Mr. Modi’s leadership, the state of Gujarat has flourished.  Home to a mere five percent of the country’s population, Gujarat now accounts for nearly 25 percent of all Indian exports.  Poverty rates have fallen dramatically, and infrastructure has grown impressively. 

Importantly, Prime Minister Modi has promised to focus on private enterprise, reduce bureaucracy, and strengthen trade ties with major partners.  Since 2001, U.S.-India trade has experienced impressive growth, but our commercial relationship remains far below the scale of our markets.  Prime Minister Modi’s commitment to cut the red tape that has long plagued our trade relationship gives reason for hope that our economic partnership will flourish.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.  Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the United States will undoubtedly be a seminal event for the nation’s vibrant Indian American community. We look forward to working with you to ensure that this trip is a success.

Sincerely,

EDWARD R. ROYCE

GEORGE HOLDING