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Kaine & Rubio Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Prevent Any U.S. President from Leaving NATO

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) leaders meet for the 2023 Vilnius summit in Lithuania, U.S. Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Marco Rubio (R-FL), members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC), reintroduced their bipartisan bill to explicitly prohibit any President of the United States from withdrawing from NATO without Senate approval or an Act of Congress.

“Putin’s brutal war in Ukraine and Finland’s accession and Sweden’s pending accession into NATO all underscore the same thing: NATO is stronger than ever,” said Kaine. “I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan bill to reaffirm the United States’ commitment to NATO and ensure any U.S. President can’t unilaterally decide to leave the alliance without congressional approval.”

“NATO serves as an essential military alliance that protects shared national interests and enhances America’s international presence. Any decision to leave the alliance should be rigorously debated and considered by the U.S. Congress with the input of the American people,” said Rubio.

Specifically, the bill requires the U.S. President to seek the advice and consent of the Senate before suspending, terminating, or withdrawing U.S. membership in NATO. If a U.S. President attempts to leave NATO without Senate approval or an Act of Congress, the bill prohibits any funding from being used to do so and also authorizes Congressional Legal Counsel to challenge the Administration in court.

As longtime advocates of the alliance, Kaine and Rubio voted to ratify protocols for Finland and Sweden to join NATO in August 2022.

In addition to Kaine and Rubio, the bill is cosponsored by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Dick Durbin (D-IL).

Full text of the bill is available here.