House Approves Crowley-Engel-Royce-Bera-Holding Measure to Expand U.S.-India Defense Cooperation

May 15, 2015
Press Release

House Adopts Key Congressional U.S.-India-Related Measure

(Washington, D.C.) –Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bipartisan amendment to the FY2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) calling for expansion of U.S.-India defense cooperation. The amendment was offered by Reps. Joe Crowley (D-NY), Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus; Eliot Engel (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; Ami Bera (D-CA), Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans; and George Holding (R-NC), Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans.

In addition to urging an overall expansion in defense ties, the amendment specifically calls for the U.S. to welcome the role India plays in providing security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond, work cooperatively with India on matters relating to our common defense, vigorously support the implementation of the U.S.-India Defense Framework Agreement, as well as support the India Defense Trade and Technology Initiative (DTTI). This was the first vote held by the House on U.S.-India since the 2014 Indian elections, and comes on the heels of the defense framework advanced by President Obama and Prime Minister Modi in January. Support for building the U.S.-India relationship is a solidly bipartisan effort in Congress.

“One of the most important decisions the U.S. has made in recent years is to strengthen our relationship with India, including cooperation and coordination on defense matters,” said Crowley, former co-chair of the House India Caucus. “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.”

“Fifteen years ago, the dynamic nature of the strategic-plus partnership that we have today with India would have been unthinkable. 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,” said Engel

“The U.S.-India partnership will define the South Asia region and beyond for years to come. 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,” said Royce, former co-chair of the House India Caucus.

“As the world’s oldest democracy and the world’s largest democracy, the United States and India are natural allies,” said Bera. “Continued cooperation in defense benefits both our countries as we draw down in Afghanistan and deal with terrorism around the world. This amendment demonstrates our strong support for growing the defense partnership between the U.S. and India, and I’ll continue to be an advocate for strengthening the overall strategic and economic relationship between our two countries.”

“With the emerging challenges the United States and India both face in the Indo-Pacific region and across the globe, it is essential we strengthen the defense partnership and cooperation between our two nations. 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,” said Holding.