Washington: Led by Speaker of House of Representatives Paul Ryan, top US lawmakers on Wednesday lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address to the joint sitting of the Congress, describing it as "insightful".
"It was an honour to host Prime Minister Modi at the Capitol today. He spoke eloquently about the importance of a strong US-India relationship to promoting peace and freedom around the globe," Ryan said in a statement after Modi's address.
Congressmen and Senators from both the Republican and Democratic parties gave a standing ovation to the Prime Minister several times during his address.
A number of them also queued up to get his autograph after Modi came into the well of the House.
"Given the importance of fighting poverty, it was encouraging to hear the prime minister's steadfast commitment to making sure everyone has an opportunity to rise. I share his commitment to strengthening our critical partnership, and I thank him for joining us," Ryan said.
Ryan and several top Congressional leaders received the Prime Minister as he came to the Capitol Hill in the morning for his address to the Congress.
Ryan was joined by Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid for a meeting before Modi's address to the Congress.
About three dozen top lawmakers greeted the Prime Minister as he entered the hall for his address.
Prominent among them were Majority Whip Steve Scalise, Chair, Republican Conference, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Chairman, National Republican Congressional Committee, Greg Walden and Chairman, Committee on Foreign Affairs on Foreign Affairs, Ed Royce.
"He delivered a very insightful speech, which laid out the mutual benefits of our growing relationship with India," said Congressman Brad Sherman.
"The Prime Minister has played an important part in improving relations on issues as varied as alternative energy development, defence and security cooperation, counter- terrorism, and climate change," he said.
"As things stand, our current trade relationship amounts to around USD 110 billion. I am encouraged by Prime Minister Modi's reform efforts and hope we can work together to make it easier for US companies to export to India and achieve the goal of a USD 500 billion balanced trade relationship," Sherman said.
Congressman Joe Crowley said, "It was a historic speech.
"I'm proud to welcome Prime Minister Modi to the US Capitol," Royce said.
"As the oldest and largest democracies, the US and India have a special relationship. Our partnership on such issues as defence, nuclear power, renewable energy and space exploration is very strong. And I am confident that Prime Minister Modi's address will provide new momentum for additional progress," Royce said in a statement.
As the world's oldest democracy welcomed the leader of the world's largest democracy, I was pleased to hear from Prime Minister Modi on his vision for the next chapter in US-India relations," Crowley said.
"The US-India relationship - rooted in shared democratic values and strong people-to-people ties - is one of the world's most rapidly growing partnerships," he said.
The prominent lawmakers present at the joint session included George Holdin, Co-Chairman, Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans; Kay Granger, Chair, Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programmers; and Ted Poe, Chairman, Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade.
Among the prominent Senators were Mitch McConnell, Majority Leader; John Corny, Majority Whip, Orrin Hatch, Chair Finance Committee, Roy Blunt, Committee on Intelligence, John Barasso, Committee on Foreign Relations and Roger Wicker , Committee on Armed Services.
Other Senators were Amy Klobuchar, Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights; Ben Cardin, Ranking Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Mark and Warner, Co-Chair India Caucus.
Indian-American Congressman Ami Bera, Co-chair House India Caucus and Tulsi Gabbard were also there to greet the Prime Minister.