Bipartisan bill would require Senate's approval to withdraw from NATO

Bipartisan bill would require Senate's approval to withdraw from NATO
© Greg Nash
A bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation on Thursday to require President TrumpDonald John TrumpGillibrand backs federal classification of third gender: report Former Carter pollster, Bannon ally Patrick Caddell dies at 68 Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job MORE to get the Senate's approval before he withdraws the United States from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). 
The bill—from Sens. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineOvernight Defense: Trump declares border emergency | .6B in military construction funds to be used for wall | Trump believes Obama would have started war with North Korea | Pentagon delivers aid for Venezuelan migrants Kaine asks Shanahan if military families would be hurt by moving .6B for border wall Clinton on GOP promoting Trump 'stronger together' quote: Now copy my policies too MORE (D-Va.), Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerBipartisan Senators reintroduce legislation to slap new sanctions on Russia Dems seeking path to Senate majority zero-in on Sun Belt Lawmakers eager for 5G breakthrough MORE (R-Colo.), Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedPapering over climate change impacts is indefensible Why Democrats are pushing for a new nuclear policy GOP chairman: US military may have to intervene in Venezuela if Russia does MORE (D-R.I.) and John McCainJohn Sidney McCainPence met with silence after mentioning Trump in Munich speech Mark Kelly's campaign raises over M in days after launching Senate bid The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Lawmakers wait for Trump's next move on border deal MORE (R-Ariz.)—would require Trump to get the support of two-thirds of the Senate if he wanted to withdraw from the alliance or modify U.S. membership. 
 
It would also authorize the Senate Legal Counsel to challenge any attempt by the administration to withdraw from NATO without the Senate's consent in court. 

"Just as it was required to join NATO, Senate approval should be required before this President – or any U.S. President - can withdraw,” Kaine said in a statement.

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McCain added that Trump's "mistreatment of our closest allies" had "raised doubts" about the U.S. commitment to NATO. 
 
"In the future, the Senate must be prepared to defend its constitutional role. This legislation is urgently required to ensure that no president can withdraw the United States from NATO without the constitutionally required advice and consent of the Senate," he said. 
 
Currently, presidents are required to get the consent of the Senate to enter into treaties. Article 13 of the NATO treaty requires a country give a one-year "notice of denunciation" before it can exit NATO. 
 
Trump hasn't publicly threatened to withdraw from NATO but his rhetoric at a summit in Brussels earlier this month rattled long-time allies and stunned lawmakers. 
 
And multiple reports indicated that he privately threatened to withdraw from NATO if other countries did not commit to increasing their defense spending. He did not deny those reporters during a press conference, instead saying he was "very firm" with allies. 

“I think I can probably can [pull out of NATO], but that’s unnecessary, and the people have stepped up today like they’ve never stepped up before,” Trump added.

His rhetoric also sparked backlash on Capitol Hill, where the Senate used a non-binding procedural vote to signal their support for NATO.

Two House members introduced separate legislation on Thursday to prevent tax dollars from being used to withdraw the United States from NATO.