Things got very awkward very quickly during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Thursday when a freshman Republican congressman repeatedly mistook to two senior U.S. government officials as being representatives from the Indian government.
“I am familiar with your country,” Representative Curt Clawson tells the State Department’s Nisha Biswal and Commerce official Arun Kumar. “I love your country….And I understand the complications of so many languages and so many cultures and so many histories all rolled up in one.”
Clawson then urges Biswal and Kumar to urge “your capital” – referring to the Indian capital city of New Delhi – to ease trade restrictions between the two countries. “Just as your capital is welcome here to produce good-paying jobs in the U.S., I’d like our capital to be welcome there,” he said. “I ask cooperation and commitment and priority from your government in so doing. Can I have that?” he asked the pair.