US House to vote for further enhancing India-US defence cooperation

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The US House Committee on Wednesday made to order an amendment which will further enhance defence cooperation with India.

“Reflecting the bi-partisan support in US Congress to strengthen the India-US defence partnership, the House Rules Committee today made to order the bi-partisan Sherman amendment that seeks to promote bilateral defence cooperation by exploring additional steps to implement the major defence partner designation including through appropriate technology transfers,” Capitol Hill source told ANI.

The amendment received the support from both Republican and Democrats members including Congressmen Brad Sherman, Joe Wilson, George Holding, Ami Bera, Raja Krishnamoorthi. The Foreign Affairs and Armed Services Committee also supported the amendment.

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The Sherman amendment is a part of the House’s version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) FY 2020. The bill is currently under passage on the House Floor. As an understanding has already been reached on the bill and the selected amendments, it is in the process of being passed by a simple voice vote.

Notably, more than 680 amendments were submitted, this was among the very few that talked of strengthening defence relations with another country that was made to order by the Rules Committee.

Another amendment pertaining to India that was made to order is by Congressman Ami Bera (D-CA) which is a reporting requirement for enhancing defence and security cooperation with India in the western Indian Ocean.

The US lawmakers also passed a Bill aimed at lifting the current seven per cent country-cap on issuing Green Cards, a development which would benefit thousands of highly-skilled Indian IT professionals.

A Green Card allows a person to live and work permanently in the US.

Passed by the US House of Representatives, the Bill, on being signed into law, would considerably reduce the agonising wait for talented professionals from countries like India seeking permanent work and residency permits in the United States.

Titled the Fairness of High-Skilled Immigrants Act, 2019 or HR 1044, the Bill was passed by the 435-member House by an overwhelming majority of 365-65 votes.

(With ANI inputs)

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