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Lawmakers Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Legislation to Ensure Congressional Support for NATO

February 4, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Representatives Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Will Hurd (R-TX), and Elise Stefanik (R-NY) introduced a Joint Resolution that would prevent any U.S. suspension of, termination of, or withdrawal from NATO unless and until Congress is consulted and gives its approval for such a move. 

The resolution is companion legislation to a bipartisan Senate resolution introduced earlier this month and would ensure U.S. leadership in the most effective alliance in world history for the foreseeable future. 

The legislation comes as Congress seeks to cement investments made in NATO over the last several years and over the alliance’s 70-year history, and as western democracies continue to face an active and serious threat from Russia as it is led by Vladimir Putin.

“NATO is and will remain a critical force for deterring Russian attempts to corrupt western democracy and for permanently underwriting U.S. and allied security. There is no more comparable collection of capable, coordinated, and effective nations at preserving the common defense than this alliance. I am pleased to lead my House colleagues in introducing this bipartisan effort to ensure that Congress is an active participant in guaranteeing the security of free peoples on both sides of the Atlantic,” said Rep. Ruben Gallego, of the House Armed Services Committee.

“NATO is the most successful military alliance in modern history and plays an invaluable role in protecting U.S. national security and global stability. As Chairman of the U.S. Delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, I am proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our NATO allies. This bill reaffirms that Congress will not permit the executive branch to unilaterally withdraw from NATO without the consent of the body – a coequal branch of government. It is more critical now than ever that the Alliance operate from a position of strength and common resolve,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly, of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

“NATO has contributed to the peace and prosperity of North America and Europe for 70 years. Just as NATO has stood with us time and time again, we must always stand with them. I am proud to support this bipartisan legislation that reaffirms the role of Congress, as a coequal branch of government, in continuing the strong transatlantic bond that unites our nations,” said Rep. Will Hurd, of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

“Congressional oversight in matters related to the suspension, termination, or withdrawal from NATO is an absolute necessity to further establish our strong standing on the world stage. As our Framers intended, Congress must be consulted prior to the Executive Branch before making any decision that has the potential to disrupt the security of the United States and the alliances we hold. I am a strong supporter of NATO, and I’m proud to join my colleagues in this bipartisan effort,” said Rep. Elise Stefanik, of the House Armed Services Committee and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. 

Measures included in the Joint Resolution:

  • Prohibiting the U.S. suspension of, termination of, or withdrawal from NATO without consultation with Congress.
  • Requiring notification to Congress within 48 hours of any Administration’s effort to suspend, terminate, or withdraw from NATO. 
  • Requiring an affirmative 2/3 vote in the Senate or Act of Congress to approve any decision to suspend, terminate, or withdraw from NATO.
  • Authorizing Congressional counsel to defend Congress’ rights, powers, and authority as expressed in the above provisions.

The full text of the bill can be found here.