A Democratic senator announced Wednesday legislation to all but undo President Trump’s shakeup of the National Security Council (NSC).
Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Altria - Biden holds meetings to resurrect his spending plan Democrats feel high anxiety in Biden spending conflict Biden meets with Jayapal to kick off week of pivotal meetings MORE (D-Va.) said he will introduce legislation that would redefine who serves on the NSC and would require the White House to seek congressional approval for all but a handful of council members and attendees.
The move comes days after Trump issued an executive memorandum installing White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon on the NSC and downgrading the director of national intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Warner called Trump's reorganization of the council "deeply troubling," saying it "reflects a misguided desire to place political considerations above the valued and sober advice of any president's most experienced military and intelligence advisors."
Warner's proposal would force Bannon, the former executive chairman of the right-wing Breitbart News, to seek Senate confirmation to join the committee, while the director of national intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff would be reinstated as permanent members of the council.
Trump's memorandum directs the security officials to only attend the committee meetings when issues related to their expertise are discussed.
Trump's reorganization of the NSC, which was announced Saturday, spurred bipartisan criticism among lawmakers and former administration officials, who disparaged the move as unprecedented and highly political.
“Presidents from Truman to Obama have utilized the guidance of the NSC to make tough foreign policy decisions and keep our nation safe from harm,” Warner said in a statement.
“Respected national security voices in both parties have pointed out that it is unprecedented for the president’s chief political advisor to be made part of a process that should be above politics.”
Warner isn’t the only lawmaker to eye legislation on the issue. Earlier Wednesday, Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.) introduced a measure to bar anyone whose “primary or predominant responsibility is political in nature" from the council, including Bannon.
The former Breitbart executive has been a frequent target of Democrats, who have criticized his association with the alt-right, white nationalist movement.