History made with Indian-American Congressman named assistant whip in U.S. Congress

Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Illinois, lights the ceremonial lamp at the Nov. 27, 2018 celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th anniversary, held on Capitol Hill. (Photo: courtesy Indian Embassy)

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D- Illinois, the only Indian-American representative from that state on Capitol Hill, has been appointed to a significant post in the hierarchy of majority party positions in the U.S. Congress, Assistant Whip. He becomes the first Indian-American to hold that position and told News India Times he wants to make sure legislation can be pushed through Congress that will enable the middle class to realize the American Dream.

In a statement sent to News India Times, Krishnamoorthi said, “I am honored to be selected to serve as an Assistant Whip for this Congress and am grateful for the opportunity to shape policies that will help working families while ensuring that every community has its voice heard in Washington on issues including education, economic development, and immigration.”

Krishnamoorthi, who represents District 8 in Illinois, will be one of several assistant whips who are selected by the Majority Whip, a position currently held by James E. Clyburn, D-South Carolina.

Assistant Whips are responsible for helping the Whip operation get an accurate read on where Members of the ruling party Caucus stand on certain pieces of legislation. They work with Members of the Caucus to answer any questions or address any concerns that Members may have with upcoming bills.

He told News India Times he was “looking forward to helping to shepherd important legislation in Congress to help working families, small businesses, and the middle class realize the American Dream.”

In a formal statement he issued upon being appointed, Krishnamoorthi said, “This position is integral in rallying my colleagues together to pass important legislation. I look forward to bringing our diverse caucus together so that we can continue to pass legislation that will deliver meaningful results for working families across America.”

Krishnamoorthi will face challenges in the 116th Congress where despite a Democrtic majority, the membership comes from a ideological spectrum that ranges from the left to the moderates, and any legislation in the works will have to be calibrated to serve the needs of the diverse Democrats, who even now are split on their support to numerous candidates running for the 2020 presidential race from Indian-American Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California, a moderate attempting to win over left liberals, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who are considered to be on the extreme left.

Majority Whip Clyburn who selected Krishnamoorthi, praised him in a statement in the press release.

“Congressman Krishnamoorthi will play a critical role in my Whip operation, helping us ensure that every voice of the most diverse Caucus ever is heard as we consider legislation to move our country in a positive direction,” Clyburn said, adding, “I look forward to working with Congressman Krishnamoorthi to ensure that Democrats deliver on their promise to advance an agenda that will have a positive impact on Americans’ everyday lives.”






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