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 KaineLiberty University professor charged with alleged sexual battery and abduction of student Senate parliamentarian looms over White House spending bill Menendez jabs State official over Colombian group's terror designation 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 RubioOvernight Defense & National Security — Quick vote on defense bill blocked again Maternal and child health legislation must be prioritized now The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden talks up bright side beneath omicron's cloud 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.

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The bill was previously introduced in the last two sessions of Congress amid concerns that then-President TrumpDonald TrumpBaldwin calls Trump criticism following 'Rust' shooting 'surreal' Haley hits the stump in South Carolina Mary Trump files to dismiss Trump's lawsuit over NYT tax story MORE would withdraw the United States from the military alliance, something he repeatedly voiced a desire to do.

President BidenJoe BidenManchin to vote to nix Biden's vaccine mandate for larger businesses Congress averts shutdown after vaccine mandate fight Senate cuts deal to clear government funding bill 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.