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83 US members sign initiative to invite Narendra Modi to address Joint Session of Congress

By Sujeet Rajan, The American Bazaar

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Washington, Jul 22 | comments
WASHINGTON, DC: A total of 83 members of Congress have signed on to an initiative spearheaded by Democrat California Congressman Brad Sherman, a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, to request Congressional leadership invite the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address a Joint Session of Congress in September.
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WASHINGTON, DC: A total of 83 members of Congress have signed on to an initiative spearheaded by Democrat California Congressman Brad Sherman, a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, to request Congressional leadership invite the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address a Joint Session of Congress in September.

The initiative is being taken forward also by Rep. Ted Poe and Rep. Eni Faleomavaega. In each of the last three decades, a prime minister of India has addressed a Joint Session of Congress.

“I am pleased that 82 of my colleagues have joined me in this effort to invite Prime Minister Modi to speak before a Joint Session of Congress,” said Sherman, in a statement. “The voices in Congress are growing, and the message is clear: the United States and India have a unique relationship based on shared democratic values. Prime Minister Modi’s visit is an opportunity to further expand this relationship.”

The signatories are: Joe Barton, Ami Bera, Jaime Herrera Beutler, Gus Bilirakis, Madeleine Z. Bordallo, Mo Brooks, John Campbell, Tony Cardenas, John Carter, Donna Christensen, Judy Chu, David Cicilline, Mike Coffman, Chris Collins, Mike Conaway, Gerald Connolly, Jim Costa, Joe Courtney, Peter DeFazio, Ted Deutch, Eliot Engel, Anna Eshoo, Eni Faleomavaega, Bill Flores, Tulsi Gabbard, John Garamendi, Cory Gardner, Jim Gerlach, Kay Granger, Alan Grayson, Gene Green, Al Green, Michael Grimm, Denny Heck, Jeb Hensarling, Brian Higgins, Mike Honda, Bill Huizenga, Steve Israel, Bill Johnson, David Joyce, Joseph P. Kennedy III, Ron Kind, Peter King, Rick Larsen, Sheila Jackson Lee, Alan Lowenthal, Kenny Marchant, Carolyn B. Maloney, Mark Meadows, Gregory W. Meeks, Grace Meng, Mike Michaud, Randy Neugebauer, Pete Olson, Frank Pallone, Ted Poe, Ed Pastor, Ed Perlmutter, Scott Perry, David Price, Mike Quigley, Dana Rohrabacher, Bobby L. Rush, Loretta Sanchez, Allyson Y. Schwartz, David Schweikert, Pete Sessions, Brad Sherman, Albio Sires, Adam Smith, Lamar Smith, Jackie Speier, Steve Stivers, Steve Stockman, Dina Titus, Michael Turner, Pete Visclosky, Maxine Waters, Tim Walberg, Randy Weber, Roger Williams, and Ted Yoho.

The full text of the letter reads:

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.

Sincerely,

Members of Congress

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