Coming in the wake of the defense framework advanced by President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an amendment in mid-May calling for expansion of the U.S.-India defense cooperation and welcoming India’s role in providing security in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond.
The amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act 2016 was moved by a bipartisan group of Congressmen including Joe Crowley, Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus; Eliot Engel, Ranking Member of House Foreign Affairs Committee; Ed Royce, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; and the two Co-Chairs of the Congressional Caucus on India Dr. Ami Bera and George Holding.
What they said according to The Economic Times:
Crowley: Our amendment makes clear that the U.S. Congress stands firmly behind expanding and moving our defense relationship forward as we strengthen our overall strategic partnership with India.
Engel: This amendment, which has bipartisan support, reiterates that our partnership with India is far and wide in scope, from shared security in the Indo-Pacific to expanded scientific collaboration in clean energy and space exploration.
Ed Royce: Front and center in this critical partnership is our increasing defense cooperation, which was further cemented by renewing our Defense Framework Agreement. This amendment puts the House on record supporting further cooperation between the U.S. and Indian armed forces
Bera: Continued cooperation in defense benefits both our countries as we draw down in Afghanistan and deal with terrorism around the world.
Holding: I am encouraged by the progress made thus far by the Defense Trade and Technology Initiative and I strongly support continued defense collaboration between the United States and India for years to come.