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Washington, D.C. – House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA), Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY), and Reps. George Holding (R-NC) and Ami Bera (D-CA), Co-Chairs of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans, sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan today 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 in June. 

In the letter to Speaker Ryan, the members write:  “Given the depth of our relationship with India across a range of areas — defense, humanitarian and disaster relief, space cooperation, conservation, and innovation, — we believe this is an ideal opportunity for the Congress to hear directly from the Prime Minister … The U.S.-India relationship consistently garners strong bipartisan support.  Inviting Prime Minister Modi to address a Joint Meeting will allow Congress to express support for this special global partnership.”

The signed letter to Speaker Ryan is available HERE.

The text of the letter follows:

April 19, 2016

The Honorable Paul D. Ryan
Speaker of the House
H-232, The Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Speaker Ryan:

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit Washington on June 7th and 8th of this year.   Given the depth of our relationship with India across a range of areas — defense, humanitarian and disaster relief, space cooperation, conservation, and innovation, — we believe this is an ideal opportunity for the Congress to hear directly from the Prime Minister.  Therefore, we ask that you invite Prime Minister Modi to address a Joint Meeting of Congress.  It is our understanding that if invited, the Prime Minister would accept.  

The U.S. partnership with India is based on a foundation of shared values, including the rule of law, electoral democracy, and religious pluralism. This renewed partnership has found champions in the leadership of both parties, including both President Clinton and President George W. Bush, and has been further emboldened in the United States by a strong, proud, and growing Indian-American diaspora. 

The U.S.-India relationship has seen significant growth.   President Obama has visited India twice, and Prime Minister Modi reciprocated with two trips of his own to the United States.  Our two countries have signed a defense framework agreement to increase military cooperation and the civilian nuclear agreement, signed in 2008, will result in the construction of nuclear power plants in India.  Additionally, the United States and India are forging closer ties to address humanitarian crises, such as the aftermath of the earthquake in Nepal, in the renewable energies sector, and in space exploration.  It is no wonder that the partnership has been characterized as the defining partnership of the 21st century. 

The U.S.-India relationship consistently garners strong bipartisan support.  Inviting Prime Minister Modi to address a Joint Meeting will allow Congress to express support for this special global partnership.

Thank you for considering this request.

Sincerely,

EDWARD R. ROYCE                                                        
Chairman

ELIOT ENGEL
Ranking Member

GEORGE HOLDING

AMI BERA

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