Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu lawmaker in the US Congress, elected as the co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans, has vowed to work for furthering Indo-US relations.
The level of engagement seen in both the House and Senate on issues related to India and America’s partnership and friendship “only continues to grow,” Gabbard said after it was formally announced that she has been elected as the new co-chair of the House India Caucus.
Gabbard, 35, the first ever Hindu elected to the US House of Representative in 2013 is the three-term Democratic Congresswoman from Hawaii.
Having made a mark for herself at the national scene both inside and outside the Congress on key foreign policy and national security issues, Gabbard is the first ever woman to be elected as co-chair of the House Congressional Caucus on India.
Congressman George Holding from North Carolina is the Republican co-chair to one of the largest country - specific caucus in the House of Representatives.
She succeeds her Democratic congressional colleague Indian-American Dr Ami Bera.
“Congressman Holding and I are working together on what is the legislative strategy for building a agenda for the caucus to move forward in the 115th Congress,” Gabbard told a selected gathering of influential Indian-Americans and key lawmakers at a round table at the US Capitol organised jointly by US-India Friendship Council and US-India Business Council.
Noting that there is growing momentum, interest and excitement around India-US relationship, Gabbard said there is really unity in the issues of cooperation and opportunity between the two countries.
“We have to capture this moment and really take advantage of the continued interest, not taking this for granted and be vigil and in doing so,” she said.
“We are off to a great start in the current administration. Some of the brightest time for US India relationship is for now and in the future,” Holding said.
This Congress he noted would build on the progress made by the last Congress which designated India as a major defence partner.
“Good times are ahead as far as military to military cooperation is concerned,” he said, adding that the lawmakers are talking about how to merge and compliment the Make in India and America First doctrine.
The two doctrine are not competitive to each other, but actually can work together with each other.
“I am excited to work with Tulsi for the next two years. We are going to have wonderful time together,” he said.