Bipartisan senators reintroduce bill to prevent Trump from withdrawing from NATO

Bipartisan senators reintroduce bill to prevent Trump from withdrawing from NATO
© Greg Nash

A bipartisan group of senators on Thursday reintroduced a bill that would prevent the president from withdrawing from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) without Senate approval.

The bill, introduced by four Democrats and four Republicans, would require two-thirds approval from the Senate for a president to suspend, terminate or withdraw the United States from NATO.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump cites tax cuts over judges as having biggest impact of his presidency Trump cites tax cuts over judges as having biggest impact of his presidency Ocasio-Cortez claps back at Trump after he cites her in tweet rejecting impeachment MORE’s repeated threats to withdraw from NATO are dangerous,” Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineTexas raises age to purchase tobacco to 21 Texas raises age to purchase tobacco to 21 Democrats push to make national security a 2020 wedge issue MORE (D-Va.) said in a statement announcing the bill’s reintroduction. “Our NATO allies have fought alongside our troops since World War II, yet President Trump disparages these nations and cozies up to our adversaries.”

The other co-sponsors are Sens. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerDemocrats' 2020 Achilles's heel: The Senate Cruz, Ocasio-Cortez efforts on birth control access face major obstacles McConnell defends Trump amid backlash: 'He gets picked at every day' MORE (R-Colo.), Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedTop voting machine manufacturer urges Congress to make paper records required Top voting machine manufacturer urges Congress to make paper records required Democrats ask Fed to probe Trump's Deutsche Bank ties MORE (D-R.I.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump wishes 'Happy Father's Day to all,' including 'worst and most vicious critics' Trump wishes 'Happy Father's Day to all,' including 'worst and most vicious critics' Election security bills face GOP buzzsaw MORE (R-S.C.), Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsSenate Dem to reintroduce bill with new name after 'My Little Pony' confusion Senate Dem to reintroduce bill with new name after 'My Little Pony' confusion Senate Democrat: Trump Mexico tariff threat 'hopefully' a breaking point for GOP MORE (D-Del.), Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioElection security bills face GOP buzzsaw Election security bills face GOP buzzsaw The Hill's Morning Report — Uproar after Trump's defense of foreign dirt on candidates MORE (R-Fla.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsDemocrats' 2020 Achilles's heel: The Senate Democrats' 2020 Achilles's heel: The Senate The Hill's Morning Report — Uproar after Trump's defense of foreign dirt on candidates MORE (R-Maine).

The same bill was introduced last year after Trump rattled NATO allies at a July summit in Brussels. The sponsors last time were Kaine, Gardner, Reed and the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCain#JohnMcCainDay trends on Trump's 73rd birthday #JohnMcCainDay trends on Trump's 73rd birthday New poll finds little GOP support for spending cuts to specific federal programs MORE (R-Ariz.).

The reintroduction comes after a New York Times report that Trump told aides several times last year that he wants to withdraw from NATO.

One of the occasions when Trump reportedly raised the issue of withdrawal was the lead-up to the NATO summit in July, when he told his top national security officials he did not see the point of the alliance and thought it was a drain on the United States.

Right now, 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.

In addition to requiring Senate approval for Trump to withdraw, the bill reintroduced Thursday would authorize the Senate Legal Counsel and the General Counsel of the House to challenge in court any attempt by the administration to withdraw from NATO without the Senate's consent.

In statements touting the resolution, the co-sponsors stressed the importance of a strong NATO alliance.

“NATO is more important than ever with Russia’s growing subversive activities in the region and beyond,” Rubio said. “It is critical to our national security and the security of our allies in Europe that the United States remain engaged and play an active role in NATO.”