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Kaine, Rubio Reintroduce Bipartisan Bill to Prevent Any President from Leaving NATO

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Marco Rubio (R-FL), both members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, reintroduced a bipartisan bill to explicitly prohibit any President of the United States from withdrawing from NATO without Senate approval. The bill requires the President to seek the advice and consent of the Senate before suspending, terminating, or withdrawing U.S. membership in NATO and formalizes the Senate’s opposition to doing so. If a 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 Administration in court.

“NATO has been a critical alliance for nearly 75 years,” said Kaine, also a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “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.” 

“As a critical military alliance for our national security interests and the security of our allies in Europe, NATO is more important than ever,” said Rubio. “With Moscow’s growing subversive aggressions, we must ensure no U.S. President withdraws from NATO without the advice and consent of the Senate.” 

In December 2019, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed a previous version of this bill, but the bill did not receive a vote on the Senate floor before the conclusion of the 116th Congress. April marks the 72nd anniversary of the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty, which established NATO. 

Thirteen cosponsors joined Kaine and Rubio in introducing this bill: Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Susan Collins (R-ME), Chris Coons (D-DE), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Mark Warner (D-VA).

The full text of the bill can be viewed here.