Senate bill seeks to prevent US from leaving NATO | WDVM25 and DCW50

WASHINGTON (WDVM) – Virginia Senator Tim Kaine is pushing for legislation that could prevent the United States from leaving NATO.

The bill was first introduced in 2018 by Kaine alongside Senators Jack Reed, John McCain and Cory Gardner. It was reintroduced by Kaine and Florida Senator Marco Rubio in April last year. Senator Kaine says the bill would require any president to seek Senate approval to leave NATO. If the president attempts to leave without that approval, the bill would block all funding to enable the exit and the attempt could be taken to court.

“I think Congress is sending a very clear bicameral, bipartisan message that we strongly support NATO and that no president could ever walk out of NATO, the lack of Senate or Congressional approval would be a reassurance and an added level of reassurance for our NATO allies,” Kaine said.

Kaine explained that the Constitution allows the President to negotiate or enter into a treaty and that the treaty must be approved by a two-thirds vote by the Senate. He argues that there is no indication of how the United States leaves a treaty. He went on to explain that this bill would not apply to all treaties, but only to the Washington Treaty, formerly known as the North Atlantic Treaty, from which NATO takes its name. He told reporters at a press conference that NATO is more important than ever, especially with the ongoing war in Ukraine.

“I would dare say that for 64 years NATO has not been so front and center and recognized for the value it adds not only to the United States and NATO members, but also to global democracies,” Kaine said.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 21 to 1 to pass the bill, which is now heading to the Senate floor.

Norman D. Briggs