Senators from both sides of the political aisle are renewing an effort that would block all U.S. presidents from deciding to remove the United States from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, better known as NATO.
This comes as the leaders of NATO were set to attend a summit in Lithuania earlier this week.
Reuters saw the joint resolution that was being brought up by members of the Senate, which is just the latest effort by some members of Congress to control what the president can and can’t do without getting the upper chamber’s approval first.
The lead sponsors of the resolution are Republican Senator Marco Rubio, who serves as the vice chair of the Intelligence Committee and is a senior member of the Foreign Relations Committee, and Democratic Senator Tim Kaine, who is a member of both the Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees.
As the resolution reads:
“The President shall not suspend, terminate, denounce, or withdraw the United States from the North Atlantic Treaty, done at Washington, DC, April 4, 1949, except y and with the advice and consent of the Senate, provided that two-thirds of the Senators present concur or pursuant to an Act of Congress.”
In the last few years, similar bills have been introduced in the Senate. It was even brought up while former President Donald Trump was in the White House, most likely because he voiced his desire for the U.S. to leave NATO.
Thus far, the resolution hasn’t passed through the full Senate. Yet, one of Kaine’s aides did note that, last year, the resolution received strong bipartisan support in the Foreign Relations Committee. Plus, with the war between Russia and Ukraine dragging on, and with NATO expanding, stronger support for the resolution is expected.
While President Joe Biden has consistently been a strong supporter of NATO himself, the concern is that Trump – or other presidents in the future – might not be like that. Biden has supported expanding NATO – which could happen soon with the additions of Sweden and Finland – and that support has ramped up ever since Russia invaded Ukraine.
Ukraine has pushed for entry into the military alliance itself, though that hasn’t been supported by many people just yet. Even Biden said he wouldn’t consider that while the war with Russia was still going on.
Even still, a new NATO-Ukraine Council was formed recently as a way to improve relations between Ukraine and the 31 members of NATO. The inaugural session of that council happened at this week’s summit.
It’s not outlandish for senators to be worried that Trump would try to withdraw the U.S. from NATO if he were elected president in 2024. Not only did he voice his desire to do so while he was in the White House the first time, he also withdrew the U.S. from other international agreements, such as the Paris Climate Accords.