Covid-19: US Congressional committee passes unanimous resolution to express solidarity with India

  • The resolution recognizes the help offered by India to the US in the early part of the pandemic, India's important global role in vaccine production and its efforts so far to help other countries with Covid-19 vaccines.
Introduced by Congressman Brad Sherman and Steve Chabot, the two Co-Chairs of the Congressional India Caucus, the resolution has 24 co-sponsors including 13 members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. (Reuters)
Introduced by Congressman Brad Sherman and Steve Chabot, the two Co-Chairs of the Congressional India Caucus, the resolution has 24 co-sponsors including 13 members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. (Reuters)
Updated on May 23, 2021 07:34 AM IST
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PTI | , Washington

A key Congressional committee on Wednesday unanimously passed a resolution that expressed solidarity with India during the Covid-19 crisis and urged the Biden administration to facilitate private, in-kind medical supply donations to India.

The resolution "Recognizing the devastating impact of Covid–19 in India and expressing the sense of the House of Representatives with respect to Covid assistance to India," was passed with unanimous consent by the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Introduced by Congressman Brad Sherman and Steve Chabot, the two Co-Chairs of the Congressional India Caucus, the resolution has 24 co-sponsors including 13 members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The resolution recognizes the help offered by India to the US in the early part of the pandemic, India's important global role in vaccine production and its efforts so far to help other countries with Covid-19 vaccines.

Commending the response of the administration, private sector and the Indian-American community in response to the situation in India, the resolution urges the administration to facilitate private, in-kind medical supply donations to India and work to deliver additional, urgently needed medical supplies to India, including oxygen generator plants and cryogenic oxygen tankers and containers.

Recognizing the efforts of the administration to deliver urgently needed medical supplies and vaccine raw materials to India, the resolution calls on the President and the Secretary of State to work with partners around the world to quell the virus everywhere it persists.

"As Co-Chairs of the India Caucus we strongly believe the US must stand by India in this hour of need," Chabot said in a tweet, adding that the resolution reflects their bond with India. The resolution that has bipartisan support now moves to the House of Representatives.

The resolution comes in the backdrop of a sustained outreach at Congress by India's Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, and senior Indian diplomats.

Prominent among the Democrats are Gregory Meeks, Chair House Foreign Affairs Committee; Karen Bass, Chair House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health; Ami Bera, Chair of House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific; Ted Deutch, Chair, House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Middle East and North Africa; Seth Moulton, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Haley Steven, Jim Clyburn who is the Democratic Whip; and Maxine Waters, Chair House Financial Services.

He also had virtual meetings with Eddie Bernice Johnson, Chair, House Committee on Science and Technology; Joaquin Castro, Chair House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Development and International Organizations; Filemon Vela, Jim Costa; Rosa Delauro, Chair Appropriations Committee; Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark; Pramila Jayapal who is the Chair of the Progressive Caucus; Ro Khanna, Ed Case, Jan Schakowsky; Brad Sherman, Co-Chair House India Caucus and Deborah Ross.

Eminent Republicans include Michael McCaul, Ranking Member, House Foreign Affairs Committee; Steve Chabot who is the Ranking Member of House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific; Brian Fitzpatrick, Jeff Fortenberry, Ann Wagner, Andy Barr, Liz Cheney, Scott Perry, Pete Sessions, Michael Waltz and Joe Wilson.

Among prominent members of the Black Caucus who had meetings with the Ambassador include Gregory Meeks, Sheila Jackson Lee, Lisa Blunt Rochester, Eddie Bernice Johnson who Chairs, House Committee on Science and Technology; Jim Clyburn, Barbara Lee, Chair House Appropriations Subcommittee on State Foreign Operations; Danny Davis, Steven "Steve" Horsford and Val Demmings.

On Wednesday, the Ambassador had lunch with Congressman Ed Case at the Indian House. "Discussed India - US partnership in the areas of health, climate change, R&D, education and strategic cooperation in the Indo-Pacific," he said in a tweet.

Senator Mark Warner on Thursday is scheduled to meet with Indian American community leaders in a Virginia sub urb of Washington DC along with Delegate Suhas Subramanyam and former US Ambassador Vinai K. Thummalapally, the first Indian-American Ambassador in US history.

The meeting is being held to discuss how the US can best support India during the Covid-19 crisis and improve ties with the Indian American community, his office said. Along with Senator John Cornyn, Warner co-chairs the bipartisan Senate India Caucus — a forum for celebrating the Indian-American diaspora community and elevating the concerns and interests of the Indian-American community in Congress.

Among top American Senators who have come out in support of India are Dick Durbin, John Cornyn, Mark Warner, Bob Menendez, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Jeff Merkley, Ed Markey, Jim Risch, Dianne Feinstein, Chris Van Hollen, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Gary Peters.

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Thursday, October 21, 2021