NATIONAL NEWS

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited to address Congress

Jun 2, 2023, 8:39 AM

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi leaves to receive Nepal’s Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal b...

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi leaves to receive Nepal’s Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal before their meeting in New Delhi, India, Thursday, June 1, 2023. Dahal arrived Wednesday on a state visit, his first trip abroad since taking power in December last year. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. congressional leaders have invited Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address a joint meeting of Congress during a visit to Washington later this month as the U.S. looks to deepen its bonds with India, the world’s most populous democracy, to counter China’s growing influence even as Modi has faced criticism for eroding India’s democratic traditions and human rights.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and other leaders announced Friday that Modi has been invited to make the address on June 22, stating in a letter that the “partnership between our two countries continues to grow” and calling the address an “opportunity to share your vision for India’s future and speak to the global challenges our countries both face.”

The U.S. is seeking to forge stronger ties overseas — especially in Asia — to counter China’s aggression in the region. Modi’s congressional address would come amid a state visit with President Joe Biden, which includes plans to celebrate Modi with high diplomatic honors reserved for close U.S. allies.

The White House has said that Modi’s visit will be a chance to build on a commitment to a free and secure Indo-Pacific region, as well as develop technology partnerships and tackle climate change.

Biden met with Modi in Japan last month at the Group of Seven summit, and he was expected to travel with the prime minister to later meetings in Papua New Guinea and Australia. But, the second leg of Biden’s trip was canceled so the president could travel home to deal with the stand-off with House Republicans over lifting the U.S. national debt.

Congress routinely welcomes heads of state to deliver an address during a joint meeting, a high-profile opportunity to showcase bonds between the U.S. and other nations. Modi became the fifth Indian prime minister to address Congress in 2016.

Modi’s visit seven years ago came after the politician was shunned for years because of religious violence in his home state while he was chief minister. Since ascending to become prime minister of India in 2014, his Hindu nationalist party has press criticism and introduced divisive policies that discriminate against Muslims and other minorities.

India routinely denies criticism of its human rights and civil liberties record.

Modi has also only lightly criticized Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and refused to impose sanctions.

Despite those concerns, the U.S. has more to gain than lose from a close friendship with India, the White House has reasoned. Biden is looking to strengthen the Quad, an international partnership with the U.S., Australia, India and Japan, that is seen as a potential bulwark against China’s dominance in the region.

Congressional leaders seemed to agree. Their letter to Modi states, “We look forward to paving the way for greater collaboration between our countries in the years to come.”

National News

In this photo provided by the Morgan & Morgan law firm, utility contractors remove a charred Hawaii...

Associated Press

Takeaways from AP report on Maui fire investigation

Investigators are trying to solve a mystery about the origin of last month’s deadly Maui wildfire: How did a small, wind-whipped fire sparked by downed power lines and declared extinguished flare up again hours later into a devastating inferno that killed at least 97 people? Here are the key takeaways of an Associated Press investigation […]

5 hours ago

This photo provided by the Morgan & Morgan law firm shows a charred Hawaiian Electric utility pole ...

Associated Press

How did the Maui fire spread so quickly? Overgrown gully, stubborn embers may be key to probe

Melted remains of an old car tire. Heavily burned trees. A charred stump of an abandoned utility pole. Investigators are examining these and other pieces of evidence as they seek to solve the mystery of last month’s deadly Maui wildfire: How did a small, wind-whipped fire sparked by downed power lines and declared extinguished flare […]

6 hours ago

FILE - Damarra Atkins pays respect to George Floyd at a mural at George Floyd Square, Friday, April...

Associated Press

Black Americans express concerns about racist depictions in news media, lack of coverage efforts

NEW YORK (AP) — In a new study, Black Americans expressed broad concerns about how they are depicted in the news media, with majorities saying they see racist or negative depictions and a lack of effort to cover broad segments of their community. Four in five Black adults say they see racist or racially insensitive […]

6 hours ago

FILE - Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, accused of killing 10 people at a Colorado supermarket in March 2021,...

Associated Press

Expert ruling that Colorado supermarket shooting suspect is competent for trial set to be debated

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — A hearing begins Wednesday to determine if the man accused of killing 10 people at a Colorado supermarket in 2021 is mentally competent to stand trial. Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, 24, was found mentally competent by experts at the state mental hospital in August, but his defense attorney Kathryn Herold asked […]

7 hours ago

FILE-Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, speaks with Strider Technologies, an AI-powered strategic intelligen...

Associated Press

Race to replace Mitt Romney heats up as Republican Utah House speaker readies to enter

Republican Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson is poised to formally announce at a Wednesday night rally that he is running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Mitt Romney, who recently announced he won’t run for reelection. Romney announced earlier this month that he won’t seek a second term, saying younger people needed to […]

7 hours ago

FILE - A map of a GOP proposal to redraw Alabama's congressional districts is displayed at the Alab...

Associated Press

In a win for Black voters in redistricting case, Alabama to get new congressional lines

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama is headed to the first significant revamp of its congressional map in three decades after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the state’s bid to keep using a plan with a single majority-Black district. The decision on Tuesday sets the stage for a new map with greater representation for Black voters […]

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited to address Congress