Congressional leaders on Monday invited the head of NATO to address a joint session of Congress next month amid concerns about President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE's commitment to the transatlantic alliance.
Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi says House members would not vote on spending bill topline higher than Senate's McConnell privately urged GOP senators to oppose debt ceiling hike On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 McConnell privately urged GOP senators to oppose debt ceiling hike On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE (R-Ky.) agreed to invite NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday, April 3 at 11 a.m. The address will come a day before NATO's 70th anniversary on April 4.
"During this critical time for the United States, NATO and the European Union, the U.S. Congress and the American people look forward to your message of friendship and partnership, as we work together to strengthen our critical alliance and advance a future of peace around the world," Pelosi wrote in a letter to Stoltenberg on behalf of bipartisan House and Senate leaders.
Stoltenberg's visit will offer members of Congress the opportunity to show bipartisan support for NATO. But it also gives Stoltenberg a chance to rebut any criticisms from Trump and make the case for the importance of the alliance.
Pelosi recently visited Brussels, where the alliance is headquartered, in February as part of a congressional delegation and met with NATO leadership, including Stoltenberg.
Stoltenberg's visit will mark the first joint address to Congress from a foreign leader since Pelosi returned to the Speaker's Office in January.
The House passed a resolution in January to reaffirm bipartisan support for the alliance, with only 22 conservative Republicans in opposition.
Its passage came after The New York Times reported that Trump had repeatedly floated leaving NATO in the past year. Trump has repeatedly called for NATO members to increase defense spending.
Current and former administration officials in support of the alliance worried that the withdrawal would embolden Russia and threaten European alliances.