Two House Democrats are calling for House Speaker Paul Ryan to extend an invitation to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to address a joint session of Congress to reinforce the long-standing relationship between the U.S. and Australia.

Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., the ranking member on the House Armed Services Committee, and Rep. Elliot Engel, D-N.Y., sent a letter to Ryan on Saturday with the request, which comes soon after President Trump’s contentious phone call with Turnbull, according to reports. Trump reportedly complained about a deal between the two countries, struck under the Obama administration, in which the U.S. would take in more than 1,000 refugees.

“We request that you extend an invitation to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to address a joint meeting of Congress to reinforce our longstanding, close relationship and to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Battles of the Coral Sea, Midway, and Guadalcanal, three critical moments in early World War II when the United States and Australia stopped imperial Japan’s expansion in the Pacific,” the House Armed Services Committee members wrote in the letter. “An address by one of our closest partners in the Asia-Pacific would also strengthen Congress’s understanding of the challenges our nations face together in containing China, defeating terrorism, and promoting the rule of law, free expression and free markets.”

“Last week, you stated that ‘Australia is a very important and central ally, and it’s going to continue to be.’ In September, you noted that ‘The alliance we’ve built with Australia over the past seven decades is stronger than ever,'” Smith and Engel wrote, quoting Ryan. “These are statements with which every Member of the House can agree, and an invitation to the Prime Minister, in consultation with the executive branch, to visit and address Congress would be very well received.”

“It would send a clear message that Congress continues to support a strong U.S.-Australia relationship based in mutual respect, and that the legislative branch retains its important role in promoting a sound foreign policy that benefits our nation and its people,” they added.

In the phone call with Turnbull, Trump reportedly called the deal to take in 1,250 refugees from an Australian detention center the “worst deal ever.” However, Trump stated in the days following the Jan. 28 call that he would “respect” the agreement.

Report: 72 convicted of terrorism from 'Trump 7' mostly Muslim countries

Top Story

Since 9/11, 72 individuals from the seven mostly Muslim countries covered by President Trump’s “extreme vetting” executive order have been convicted of terrorism, a finding that clashes sharply with claims from an appeals court that there is “no evidence” those countries have produced a terrorist.

02/11/17 10:13 AM

Source link

About the Author:

Leave a Reply