In a letter dated Thursday, the top Democrats and Republicans in each chamber said the speech would provide an opportunity to hear the prime minister's vision for India's future and views on the "global challenges our countries both face."
The letter was signed by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY., Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y.
“We look forward to paving the way for greater collaboration in the years to come,” the lawmakers wrote.
Modi last addressed a joint meeting of Congress in 2016. The address “left a lasting impact and greatly deepened the friendship between the United States and India,” congressional leaders wrote in their letter.
The Indian Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the invitation.
The United States in recent years has sought to strengthen ties with India, the world’s largest democracy, to counter China’s rising influence both regionally and globally. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden announced last month that they will host Modi for an official state visit, including a state dinner at the White House on June 22.
Modi, who has served as India's top elected official since 2014, has been viewed as a controversial figure following deadly 2002 riots in Gujarat when he was chief minister of the Indian state. In 2005, he was denied a visa to the United States over the riots, which killed more than 1,000 people, but India’s Supreme Court last year upheld a ruling that he should be cleared of all charges related to the riots. Modi has denied any wrongdoing.
Modi's visit to the U.S. comes as relations between Washington and New Delhi have grown fractious at times, particularly over the amount of oil India has purchased from Russia, which helps it in its war against Ukraine. India has maintained a neutral stance toward the war in Ukraine.
But the U.S. and India are largely aligned on efforts to address China's growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region and on climate change.