Today, Representatives Jennifer McClellan (D-VA-04), Gerry Connolly (D-VA-11), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01), and Mike Turner (R-OH-10) introduced a bipartisan joint resolution to strengthen congressional authority concerning the United States’ membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Alliance.
H.J. Res. 89 mandates any President who intends to withdraw the United States from NATO to acquire congressional approval or the advice and consent of two-thirds of the U.S. Senate before doing so. The joint resolution also authorizes the House and Senate to retain counsel for any legal procedures or court challenges tied to the establishment of Congress’s authority to uphold U.S. commitments as a member of NATO.
“The United States has a long and productive history as an engaged founding member and leader of NATO,” said Congresswoman Jennifer McClellan. “Given Russia’s continued malign behavior towards the United States and our allies, as well as their illegal and inhumane invasion of Ukraine, our nation’s continued leadership in NATO is more important than ever and vital to our national interests. Approximately 19 months ago when Vladimir Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine, there was an expectation among many that the NATO alliance would bend. Today the opposite is true and the alliance is stronger than ever. It will only remain that way with America’s continued leadership. We owe it to our long-standing allies to ensure that decisions regarding our membership in NATO are not made hastily, or unilaterally without proper oversight from Congress. I am proud to co-lead this bipartisan joint resolution with my congressional colleagues to safeguard America’s international relationships and our position on the global stage.”
“If it wasn’t clear before Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, it’s certainly clear now: NATO, and U.S. leadership within the Alliance, is more important than ever,” said Congressman Connolly. “That’s why I introduced amendments to this year’s Defense and State & Foreign Operations Appropriations bills that would prohibit any funds from being used to withdraw the United States from NATO, an identical prohibition as is contained in this resolution. As the former President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, I have seen how the world needs NATO and NATO needs the United States.”
“NATO is critical to the security and economic stability of the United States and our Western coalition of allies,” said Congressman Fitzpatrick. “As a member of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, I firmly believe that our nation’s responsibility to lead the alliance has never been more important. This bipartisan resolution ensures that the integrity of the alliance is maintained and the sole authority of Congress to determine the status of America’s treaty obligations is reaffirmed.”
“As head of the U.S. Delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, I understand the United States’ unique role in NATO’s defense mission. This bipartisan resolution strengthens our relationship with NATO and reaffirms the United States’ unwavering partnership with our allies in the alliance,” said Congressman Mike Turner. “Under Vladimir Putin’s orders, Russia violated international law by invading an independent nation and continues to take aggressive steps to escalate the war in Ukraine, putting innocent men, women, and children at risk. In an increasingly complex world of threats, this legislation will make certain that the President of the United States respects Congress’s Constitutional role in our international engagements.”
The joint resolution led by McClellan, Connolly, Fitzpatrick and Turner is cosponsored by 24 Members, including Reps. Alma Adams (NC-12), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-AL), Katie Porter (CA-47), Jasmine Crockett (TX-30), Eric Swalwell (CA-14), Brendan Boyle (PA-02), Marc Veasey (TX-33), Madeleine Dean (PA-04), Scott Peters (CA-50), Adam Schiff (CA-30), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Jim Costa (CA-21), Ruben Gallego (AZ-03), Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11), Colin Allred (TX-32), Seth Magaziner (RI-10), Jennifer Wexton (VA-10), Jen Kiggans (VA-02), Rick Larsen (WA-02), Al Green (TX-09), Rich McCormick (GA-06), Dan Kildee (MI-08), Emanuel Cleaver (MO-05), and Abigail Spanberger (VA-07).
Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced companion legislation in the U.S. Senate.
Read the full text of the resolution here.