To make a difference
et. It was a testimony to what we introduced.
That piece of legislation — the
Republican version — passed the House, it
passed the Senate, and got signed into law.
And I was directly responsible for that —
for the fact that for the first time in several
years, the Senate is going to produce a
You are a freshman member of the House
Foreign Affairs Committee and also the
Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs,
which has jurisdiction over matters pertaining to South Asia.
How did it come about? Did you actively
lobby to become a member of this
Issues of trade are very important to us,
and as much as I would like to be on the
Ways and Means Committee — no fresh-men are on that Committee — we worked
towards getting on Ways and Means.
But Foreign Affairs is very important, and
the partnership between the United States
and Asia and the United States and India is
As you’ve heard me say, it’s a very important economic partner to us and a very
important strategic partner.
Through the Committee of Foreign
Affairs, with chairman (Ed) Royce
(California Republican), chairman (Steve)
Chabot (Ohio Republican, who heads the
Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific
Affairs), we do look to build that strategic
As a fellow Californian, Chairman Royce
see the issues of the relationship in a non-partisan way.
Most of the issues we talk about on the
Foreign Affairs Committee are really non-partisan issues — they are issues of protecting the United States and then bouncing
some of America’s agenda with its allies.
Both at the full Committee and in the Subcommittee,
you’ve been quite pointed in your questioning of how the
US-India Strategic Partnership can be further fostered and
cemented, and also in terms of India’s role in Afghanistan,
post the 2014 withdrawal of US and NATO troops from that
You’ve also brought up India’s role regionally and globally
with administration and other expert witnesses.
Why have you been so laser focused on these particular
Let me start with two things.
The leadership in the House of Representatives recognizes the important asset that they have in having an
Indian-American Congressman. That has given us a lot of
entrée to take a leadership role here in the US-India conversation and the US-India relationship.
I would say the same thing with the administration and
through the State Department they recognize our impor-
COUR TES Y: FACEBOOK. COM/REPAMIBERA
Ami Bera, right, in Afghanistan as part of the bipartisan Foreign Affairs Committee trip this Memorial Day weekend.
tance and so forth of working through our Congressional
office and have been very supportive in giving us a leadership role.
I would come back to you that we recognize the importance of a US-India, US-Asia trading relationship.
Certainly, there are areas where we are making a lot of
progress, there are other areas where strategically we’d like
to open up some of India’s markets in a way that helps our
goods and services, helps us create more jobs here in the
United States as well as in my home state of California.
Those conversations will be ongoing and there’s a recognition that given who I am and given my background and
coming as a Californian, we can take a leadership role
As I’ve questioned the witnesses, the United States has
made tremendous investments in Afghanistan and so, as
we start to draw down, we don’t want to lose those gains.
We’d like to see a stable Afghanistan and India does have
a critical role as we start to move toward 2014 and contin-
ue the trilateral conversation between the United States,
India and Afghanistan.
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