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Congress approves bill barring any president from unilaterally withdrawing from NATO

(The Hill) – Congress has approved legislation that would prevent any president from withdrawing the United States from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) without approval from the Senate or an Act of Congress. 

The measure, spearheaded by Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fl.), was included in the annual National Defense Authorization Act, which passed out of the House on Thursday and is expected to be signed by President Biden. 

The provision underscores Congress’s commitment to the NATO alliance that was a target of former President Trump’s ire during his term in office. The alliance has taken on revitalized important under Biden, especially since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in Feb. 2022.

“NATO has held strong in response to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s war in Ukraine and rising challenges around the world,” Kaine said in a statement, He added the legislation “reaffirms U.S. support for this crucial alliance that is foundational for our national security. It also sends a strong message to authoritarians around the world that the free world remains united.”

Rubio said the measure served as a critical tool of congressional oversight.

“We must ensure we are protecting our national interests and protecting the security of our democratic allies,” he said in a statement. 

Biden has invested deeply in the NATO alliance over the course of his term, committing more troops and military resources to Europe as a show of force against Putin’s war. He has also overseen the expansion of the alliance with the inclusion of Finland, and ongoing efforts to secure Sweden’s full accession.

Trump, the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination, has sent mixed messages on the alliance ahead of 2024. The former president’s advocates say his tough talk and criticisms of the alliance served to inspire member-states to fulfill their obligations to reach two-percent of defense spending, lightening the burden on the U.S.

But Trump’s critics say the former president’s rhetoric weakens the unity and force of purpose of the alliance. And they express concerns that Trump would abandon the U.S. commitment to the mutual-defense pact of the alliance, or withdraw the U.S. completely. 

Source: Fox 8 News Channel

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