Pro-India Provisions in 2020 National Defense Authorization Act Passed by Senate

Washington, DC (July 1, 2019) – The Hindu American Foundation hailed the passage of the Senate Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) last week, which included an amendment strengthening US-India relations.

Introduced by Senate India Caucus Co-Chair Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), with the support of Senate India Caucus Co-Chair Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), the amendment provides for increased US-India defense cooperation in the western Indian Ocean in the areas of humanitarian assistance, counter-terrorism, counter-piracy, maritime security, and other areas.

The Cornyn-Warner amendment to the NDAA was added to the ‘managers package’ put forth by Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman James Inhofe (R-OK), which was adopted by voice vote last Thursday.

The full Senate then passed the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 NDAA later that day.

Also last week, House India Caucus Co-Chair Brad Sherman (D-CA), along with Reps. Joe Wilson (R-SC), Ami Bera (D-CA), Ted Yoho (R-FL), George Holding (R-NC), Ed Case (D-HI), and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), introduced an amendment to the House FY2020 NDAA that would greatly enhance the US-India relationship.

“The Hindu American Foundation commends Sens. Cornyn and Warner for their hard work in advancing the US-India strategic partnership,” stated HAF Managing Director Samir Kalra. “Elevating India to non-NATO status is vital, now more than ever, for the US, for India, and for the entire region,” Kalra said.

“Whether we do that with free standing legislation or whether we do that with an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act matters, I think, very little. What matters is that we recognize the importance, in a tangible way, of the US-India alliance,” Rep. Sherman said at the HAF Capitol Hill Reception on June 24th.

The House is expected to take up its version of the NDAA sometime in July before legislators adjourn for the month-long August recess on July 29.