Senators reintroduce bill to block NATO withdrawal

Senators reintroduce bill to block NATO withdrawal
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A bipartisan group of senators reintroduced a bill Thursday aimed at blocking any U.S. president from leaving NATO.

“NATO has been a critical alliance for nearly 75 years,” Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineNew York, New Jersey, California face long odds in scrapping SALT  Senate Democrats ramp up push to limit Biden's war powers Sweeping election reform bill faces Senate buzz saw MORE (D-Va.), a member of the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees, said in a statement. “It has ably served the U.S., our NATO allies and the world. This bill expresses clear congressional support for the continuing value of NATO and clarifies that no president acting alone can sever the bonds of the alliance.”

Kaine introduced the bill with Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioThe imminent crises facing Joe Biden Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signs daylight savings bill Study: Early unemployment cutoff would cost 16M people 0B MORE (R-Fla.), a fellow Foreign Relations Committee member and vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. It has 13 co-sponsors from both parties.


The bill was previously introduced in the last two sessions of Congress amid concerns that then-President TrumpDonald TrumpFranklin Graham says Trump comeback would 'be a very tough thing to do' Man suspected in wife's disappearance accused of casting her ballot for Trump Stefanik: Cheney is 'looking backwards' MORE would withdraw the United States from the military alliance, something he repeatedly voiced a desire to do.

President BidenJoe Biden28 Senate Democrats sign statement urging Israel-Hamas ceasefire Franklin Graham says Trump comeback would 'be a very tough thing to do' Schools face new pressures to reopen for in-person learning MORE, by contrast, has treated NATO warmly and emphasized the importance he places on allies, coordinating with NATO on several major policies including this week’s announcements on withdrawing from Afghanistan and sanctioning Russia.

But the reintroduction of the bill signals lawmakers’ continued support for the alliance, as well.

“As a critical military alliance for our national security interests and the security of our allies in Europe, NATO is more important than ever,” Rubio said in a statement. “With Moscow’s growing subversive aggressions, we must ensure no U.S. president withdraws from NATO without the advice and consent of the Senate.”

The bill would specifically require two-thirds approval from the Senate for a president to suspend, terminate or withdraw the United States from NATO.


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.

The measure advanced out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2019, but was never taken up by the full Senate.