Chairman of Foreign Relations Committee Cong. Royce weighs in on H. Res. 417
08 Dec 2013; Washington DC. On November 18, 2013, Congressman Joe Pitts and Congressman Frank Wolf introduced H. Res. 417, a Resolution intended to influence India’s upcoming elections by focusing on the 2002 Gujarat riots some 11 years after the fact.
USINPAC (US India Political Action Committee) has successfully led a grassroots lobbying effort in Washington DC to stop the above Resolution from going to the House Floor for a vote.
On December 7, 2013, less than one month after the Resolution’s introduction, Chairman Ed Royce of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs to which H. Res. 417 was referred, issued a statement at USINPAC’s request:
“As Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, I am focused on the critically important relationship between the United States and India. Our two nations share many common values and strategic interests. India plays a central role in the Asia-Pacific region, and we must do
our part to ensure that India is a centerpiece of America's rebalance to Asia. H. Res. 417 weakens, rather than strengthens, the friendship between the U.S. and India. The resolution runs counter to all the hard work that the American people, particularly those in the Indian
American community, have done to improve the relationship.”
On December 5, 2013, days before Chairman Royce released his statement, Chairman Steve Chabot of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, which has broad jurisdiction for U.S. policy affecting the region, withdrew his name as an original cosponsor of H. Res. 417.
On December 2, 2013, Ranking Member Eni Faleomavaega, the top Democrat on the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, released a press statement commending USINPAC for working with key leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives to correct the misinformation put forward by H. Res. 417.
As Ranking Member Faleomavaega noted, H. Res. 417 purports to praise India's rich religious diversity and commitment to tolerance and equality while reaffirming the need to protect the rights and freedoms of religious minorities. However, rather than praising India, the Resolution focuses on the 2002 Gujarat riots some 11 years after the fact while failing to note that India’s Supreme Court has found no evidence against Mr. Modi.
From now until the elections in India, USINPAC will spare no effort in making sure the U.S. Congress does not intentionally or unintentionally influence the outcome of India’s upcoming elections. India is a sovereign nation and its citizens have a right to choose their leaders.
To read about Ranking Member Eni Faleomavaega’s recent announcement opposing this bill, please visit: http://tinyurl.com/HR417-oppose.
To read the Bill, please visit http://tinyurl.com/HR417-Text