WASHINGTON-Today, House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) and House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY) sent a letter to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan requesting that he extend an invitation to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to give a joint address before Congress:

"We request that you extend an invitation to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to address a joint meeting of Congress to reinforce our longstanding, close relationship and to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Battles of the Coral Sea, Midway, and Guadalcanal, three critical moments in early World War II when the United States and Australia stopped imperial Japan's expansion in the Pacific," wrote Smith and Engel. "An address by one of our closest partners in the Asia-Pacific would also strengthen Congress's understanding of the challenges our nations face together in containing China, defeating terrorism, and promoting the rule of law, free expression and free markets.

"Last week, you stated that 'Australia is a very important and central ally, and it's going to continue to be.' In September, you noted that 'The alliance we've built with Australia over the past seven decades is stronger than ever.' These are statements with which every Member of the House can agree, and an invitation to the Prime Minister, in consultation with the executive branch, to visit and address Congress would be very well received. It would send a clear message that Congress continues to support a strong U.S.-Australia relationship based in mutual respect, and that the legislative branch retains its important role in promoting a sound foreign policy that benefits our nation and its people."

The full text of the letter can be found here.