U.S. President Donald Trump arrives to attend the NATO summit in Brussels on July 11, 2018.
A bipartisan group of senators is sponsoring legislation to explicitly prohibit the president of the United States from withdrawing from NATO without Senate approval.
Sens. Tim Kaine, D-Va., and Cory Gardner, R-Colo., with Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., and ranking member Jack Reed, D-R.I., introduced the balance Thursday. President Donald Trump has repeatedly questioned the trans-Atlantic alliance.
A separate House bill would prohibit funds from used to withdraw the U.S. from NATO. It’s sponsored by California Reps. Jimmy Panetta, a Democrat, and Steve Knight, a Republican. Both sit on the House Armed Services Committee.
The bills would be the latest moves by Congress to reaffirm support for NATO within the wake of Trump’s polarizing performance at the NATO summit in Brussels, where he pressed allies over burden-sharing, and using a meeting in Helsinki, Finland, where he appeared to side with
Russian President Vladimir Putin within the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment Russia meddled in U.S. elections.
Earlier this month, the Senate passed legislative language to reaffirm support of NATO that passed the Senate, 92-2.
“Regrettably, President Trump’s mistreatment individuals closest allies has raised doubts about America’s persistence for the transatlantic alliance as well as the values of defense,” McCain said inside a statement, adding that the balance was “urgently required.”
“In the near future, the Senate should be willing to defend its constitutional role,” he explained.
The Senate bill, if passed, would require president to get counsel and consent from the Senate to change or terminate U.S. membership in NATO, also it formalizes the Senate’s opposition to withdrawing from the treaty. If the president efforts to withdraw from NATO without Senate approval, this bill also authorizes the Senate an attorney to challenge the administration problem.
Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution declares how the president “shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent with the Senate, to create Treaties, provided 2 / 3 with the Senators present concur.”
“Just since it was needed to join NATO, Senate approval should be required before this President, or any U.S. President, can withdraw,” in accordance with an argument by Kaine, that is a part in the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees.
While Trump have not publicly threatened to withdraw from NATO, his comments have stoked fears among allies. Beyond criticism of burden-sharing, he seemed to question Article 5, the alliance’s mutual-defense clause, in a very recent Fox interview.