Washington: The Republican leadership yesterday regretted that US President Barack Obama has taken only lawmakers from his Democratic party as part of his Congressional delegation to India.
“So it’s very regrettable that the President reportedly is bringing a partisan congressional delegation with him,” Congressman Ed Royce, Chairman of the powerful House Foreign Relations Committee said in a statement.
Four US lawmakers – all from the Democratic Party – have travelled to India with Barack Obama.
They are Nancy Pelosi, former Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Senator Mark Warner (Co-Chair of the Senate India Caucus); Congressmen Joe Crowley, a longtime friend of India in the Congress and Ami Bera, who is the only Indian- American lawmaker in the current Congress.
“There should be no party divide on US-India relations, a point that was made clear to me when I, along with another Republican member of Congress, joined President Clinton in 2000 on his historic trip to India,” Mr Royce said.
“It has been a bipartisan coalition that has helped bring India to the forefront in Congress, including by passing the US-India civilian nuclear energy cooperation bill. Unfortunately, the Obama Administration’s one-party congressional delegation undermines that spirit of cooperation and accomplishment,” Mr Royce said.
One of the founding members of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans, Mr Royce is its former Co-Chair. He is known as a friend of India in the Congress and had played a key role in India-US civilian nuclear deal. Despite his disappointment, Royce said he would continue to work for a stronger India-US relationship.
“Nevertheless, as Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, I will continue to work with the Administration and Prime Minister Modi’s government to overcome this blunder and forge stronger US-India ties, which are very much in our nation’s interest,” Mr Royce said.