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Majority Leader Chuck Schumer Floor Remarks Welcoming Prime Minister Narendra Modi Of India And The Importance Of Democratic Values

Washington, D.C. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor to welcome the Prime Minister of India and stress the importance of democratic values. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Later this afternoon, I’ll join Congressional leaders in welcoming Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India to the U.S. Capitol, where he’ll speak before a joint meeting of Congress.

I will tell Prime Minister Modi the same thing I told him earlier this spring, when I led the largest Senate CODEL ever to India: our two nations will need each other if we are to beat back the forces of autocracy. When I visited India, I got to see the vibrancy and future potential of that society. It’s astounding and India will grow in power and strength over the next century.

And if we want to hold firm against the Chinese government and the Chinese Communist Party, then the world’s two largest democracies must work in unison to ensure peace. It means expanding trade, expanding opportunities for workers to come to the U.S.

It means safeguarding our common defense, which I know will be one of big announcements during the visit.

But I also told Prime Minister Modi during our meeting that we cannot lose sight of the values that define us as democracies in the first place, like freedom of expression, minority rights, civil liberties. I told this to him in person, because without that, no democracy, no democracy, can long thrive.

So I look forward to meeting, for the second time this year, with the Prime Minister later this afternoon, to stress the importance of democratic values and the urgency of our nations working together.