Washington: Democratic Congressman Ami Bera and his Republican colleague George Holding would be the new co-chairs of the powerful Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans.
The outgoing co-chairs Joseph Crowley from New York and Peter Roskam from Illinois announced that Bera from California and Holding from North Carolina will serve as the new co-chairs for the 114th Congress.
"Ami is an accomplished physician, a staunch advocate for his constituents, and is a go-to member when it comes to working constructively in Congress," Crowley said.
"His passion for the issues is impressive, and there is no question the Caucus will be in excellent hands. The Indian-American community has a wonderful partner in Ami Bera, and I look forward to working with him, and the entire India Caucus, as we continue our efforts to strengthen relations between the US and India," Crowley said.
Bera is the only Indian-American serving in Congress. He was recently elected for his second consecutive term. "I'm excited to take on this new role at a critical time for the partnership between the US and India," he said.
"Building on Prime Minister Modi's visit to the US in September and President Obama's upcoming trip to India, I look forward to working with Congressman Holding and our colleagues in the Caucus to continue to grow the economic and strategic relationship between our countries and to advocate for the Indian American community," Bera said.
The US-India bilateral relationship can be one of the defining partnerships of this century, Holding said.
"With a shifting geopolitical situation in Asia, unwavering cooperation between the US and India is essential to promoting peace and stability," Holding said.
Representing Sacramento County in Congress, Bera, born and raised in California, is a physician and only the third Indian American ever to serve in Congress.
A member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Bera is a proponent of strengthening United States' strategic and economic ties with India and Asia and is working to open Asian markets to California products to create new jobs. He is also fighting for equal rights for the Indian American community.
Crowley has served as co-chair of the India Caucus in the 112th and 113th Congresses.
Formed in 1993, the India Caucus is a bipartisan group of members that is dedicated to championing strong ties between the US and India and supporting the Indian-American community.