With President Donald Trump throwing some jabs at NATO, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and other senators laid out a resolution last week ensuring the president can’t pull out of that organization without Senate approval.
Rubio joined a host of senators–including Republicans Susan Collins of Maine, Cory Gardner of Colorado and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Democrats Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Chris Coons of Delaware, Tim Kaine of Virginia and Jack Reed of Rhode Island–to bring back a resolution which would “explicitly prohibit any president of the United States from withdrawing from NATO without Senate approval.”
“The bill requires any president to seek the advice and consent of the Senate to suspend, terminate, or withdraw U.S. membership in NATO and formalizes the Senate’s opposition to doing so,” Rubio’s office noted. “If the president attempts to leave NATO without Senate approval, this bill prohibits any funding from being used to do so and also authorizes Congressional Legal Counsel to challenge the executive branch in court.”
On Friday, Rubio offered his rationale for championing the bill which Kaine introduced.
“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.”
“President Trump’s repeated threats to withdraw from NATO are dangerous,” Kaine said. “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 president’s reckless decision-making—his abrupt withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria and Afghanistan, his pullout from the Iran nuclear deal and Paris climate agreement, and his deference to Vladimir Putin —is destroying strategic partnerships we have forged with allies across the world. At a time of increased Russian aggression and global threats, our alliance with NATO is more important than ever to ensure the safety of the American people.”
“As President Trump continues to find new ways to embolden Vladimir Putin and weaken the NATO alliance, this is a clear, bipartisan signal that Congress strongly rejects the idea of withdrawing from NATO. President Trump may waffle, but Congress and the American people won’t. We remain absolutely steadfast in our resolve to meet our commitments to the mutual defense of the NATO alliance,” Reed said.
“Over the past seven decades, NATO has proven to be the world’s most successful military alliance and a major force for peace, stability, and prosperity. It is critical that we reaffirm the United States’ commitment to this vital pillar of our national security,” Collins said. “I encourage my colleagues to support this resolution, which would be a strong statement of support for this important alliance that serves the strategic interests of the United States.”
The resolution was sent to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week. So far, there is no counterpart in the House.