Indian Born State Senator Encouraged by Improving Relations Between the U.S. and India.

June 9, 2016, Washington D.C.  -- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a joint session of Congress on Wednesday with a speech celebrating the increasingly strong relationship and deeply shared values between India and the United States.

Washington State Senator Pramila Jayapal was invited as a guest of U.S. Senator Patty Murray. Senator Jayapal was born in India and immigrated alone to the United States when she was just 16.

“I was very honored to be invited to the joint session of Congress by Senator Murray for this momentous address by Prime Minister Modi. It was encouraging to see my native country and my adopted country working more closely together to deal with some of the world’s major challenges – from climate change to terrorism and the fight against extremism. It's critically important for the world's two largest democracies to have an ongoing and open dialogue,” Jayapal said, adding, “I’m particularly pleased that India has agreed to work toward joining the Paris Climate Agreement. Washington State is on the forefront of the clean energy revolution and as a State Senator, I’ve help defeat measures that would turn back the clock. Meeting climate change head-on takes a concerted effort from all levels of government and business working together. India is an essential part of that clean energy future for our world, and the United States must remain committed to helping India on its path forward. In addition, I appreciated Prime Minister Modi making clear his commitment to ensure religious freedom for all. His leadership on that issue is essential for ensuring preservation of India’s democracy.”