36 US House of Representatives members sign letter supporting move.
By The American Bazaar Staff
WASHINGTON, DC: California Congressman Brad Sherman is leading the House of Representatives effort to have India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address a joint session of Congress.
While Modi is already set to appear stateside for the first time ever in September, when he will meet with President Barack Obama, there has been a recent push to have Modi address a joint session of Congress, which would involve both the House and the Senate. Rep. Sherman, along with Rep. Ted Poe and Rep. Eni Faleomavaega have now officially requested Congress to extend that invitation.
“I am pleased that many more Members have joined the effort to invite Prime Minister Modi to a Joint Session of Congress,” said Rep. Sherman, in a statement. “The United States and India have a special relationship based on shared democratic values. This is an excellent opportunity to build on this partnership.”
Sherman’s office said that in each of the last three decades, the Prime Minister of India has addressed a joint session of the US Congress. For Modi – who is not only looking to increase economic ties between the US and India, but is also trying to build his reputation in the eyes of Washington – coming to Congress would be a good first step toward ironing out wrinkles in the US-India relationship.
So far, the letter requesting Congress to invite Modi has 36 Representatives supporting it: Madeleine Z. Bordallo, Mo Brooks, John Campbell, Tony Cardenas, Judy Chu, Gerald Connolly, Jim Costa, Peter DeFazio, Ted Deutch, Anna Eshoo, Eni Faleomavaega, Tulsi Gabbard, John Garamendi, Alan Grayson, Gene Green, Al Green, Michael Grimm, Denny Heck, Bill Johnson, Joseph P. Kennedy III, Ron Kind, Mike Michaud, Frank Pallone, Ted Poe, Pete Olson, Ed Pastor, Ed Perlmutter, David Price, Mike Quigley, Dana Rohrabacher, Bobby L. Rush, Loretta Sanchez, Brad Sherman, Albio Sires, Jackie Speier, and Maxine Waters.
Sherman, a Democrat, currently represents California’s 30th Congressional District, which includes the San Fernando Valley near Los Angeles and has a relatively high Asian population. Additionally, Sherman is also a senior Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and is also a member of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans.
The full text of Sherman’s letter to Congress, requesting that they invite Modi to address a joint session, can be read below:
Dear Mr. Speaker, Madam Minority Leader, Mr. Majority Leader, and Mr. Minority Leader,
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit Washington in late September 2014. Given the importance of our relationship with India, we ask you to invite Prime Minister Modi to address a Joint Session of Congress.
As you know, India recently held the largest democratic exercise in history; about 550 million people voted in free and fair elections.
Since recognizing India’s independence in 1947, the United States and India’s relationship has steadily grown. The United States and India share many core values, including religious pluralism, individual freedom, the rule of law, and electoral democracy.
We have an opportunity to build on the U.S-India strategic partnership to the benefit of both our nations. India is a growing economic power in a strategically important region of the world. New Delhi plays a critical role in regional peace and security.
In each of the last three decades, a Prime Minister of India has addressed a Joint Session of Congress, and the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Modi will allow us to continue that tradition.
Thank you for your consideration of this request.
Members of Congress