Trump once wanted to abandon NATO.
Congress has approved legislation that would prevent any president from withdrawing the United States from NATO without approval from the Senate or an Act of Congress, The Hill informs.
The measure, spearheaded by Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), was included in the annual National Defense Authorization Act, which passed out of the House 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 importance under Biden, especially since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
Kaine said 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 for congressional oversight.
“We must ensure we are protecting our national interests and protecting the security of our democratic allies,” he said in a statement.
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 2 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 expressed concerns that Trump would abandon the U.S. commitment to the mutual defense pact of the alliance or withdraw the U.S. completely.
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