Two Indian American lawmakers – Congressman Dr Ami Bera and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal – on Wednesday met President Joe Biden at the White House as part of his interaction with two different Democratic groups. Bera, who has represented part of Silicon Valley since 2013 and is the longest serving Indian American lawmaker in the House of Representatives, met Biden at the White House as part of the New Democrat Coalition. He is vice chair for outreach for the coalition. The coalition says that it is made up of 98 forward-thinking Democratic lawmakers who are committed to pro-economic growth, pro-innovation and fiscally responsible policies. The meeting with Biden was to discuss the Coalition’s priorities for the remainder of the 117th Congress, a media release said. Soon after his meeting with members of the New Democratic Coalition, Biden held another back to back meeting at the White House with members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which is chaired by Indian American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal. She is the first and the only Indian American woman to be elected to the House of Representatives. From the White House, among others in attendance was another Indian American Gautam Raghavan, Director of Office of Presidential Personnel, White House.
Last week, another Indian American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi was in the Oval Office of the White House when Biden signed the Dr Lorna Breen Healthcare Provider Protection Act. The legislation was a result of the efforts of Krishnamoorthi to create programs to address front line healthcare worker mental wellness. "I was proud to join President Biden at the White House as he signed our Dr Lorna Breen Healthcare Provider Protection Act into law today to expand mental wellness resources for health care workers,” Krishnamoorthi said. “The COVID-19 Pandemic has wreaked havoc on our healthcare system and economy, but beyond that, it has wreaked havoc on the mental wellbeing of frontline workers. It is estimated that more than 300 doctors take their own lives each year, which is double the suicide rate of the general population. This legislation will help our healthcare professionals across the country as we honor the memory of Dr. Lorna Breen. To all the healthcare heroes fighting COVID and working long hours, this legislation is for you,” he said.