Republicans in the United States Senate on Thursday unveiled a $750 billion Pentagon funding bill -- that includes a provision aimed at stopping President Donald Trump from leaving the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
During the campaign and since his inauguration, Trump repeatedly attacked the alliance. With his public support for Russian President Vladimir Putin -- who would benefit the most from the collapse of NATO -- even Republicans are worried he may follow through on his threats to leave the treaty organization.
"A provision in the Senate Armed Services Committee’s new defense policy bill would make it tougher for President Donald Trump to pull the U.S. out of NATO, sending a strong sign of bipartisan support for the alliance," Defense News reported. "The $750 billion bill, which passed the SASC on Wednesday, includes language to bar funding for a year for a withdrawal from Europe, if the U.S. initiates an exit from NATO. The provision seems designed to hem in Trump, whose rhetoric has sent mixed messages about America’s commitment to the 29-nation alliance."
The language Republicans included in their bill was sponsored by Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA).
“This bill says if the president unilaterally tries to pull out, no funds can be expended to remove troops for a year," Kaine explained. "That gives Congress the opportunity to debate and overturn a decision if we think it’s unwise.”