Press Release

July 12, 2023
Cardin, Kaine, Rubio and Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Prevent Any U.S. President from Leaving NATO

WASHINGTON – As North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) leaders meet for the 2023 Vilnius summit in Lithuania, U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), all members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, along with Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Angus King (I-Maine), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), reintroduced their bipartisan bill to explicitly prohibit any President of the United States from withdrawing from NATO without Senate approval or an Act of Congress.

“The NATO Alliance continues to be a vital bulwark against Putin’s illegal and unprovoked war in Ukraine,” said Senator Cardin. “America bolstered this alliance at this critical moment in time and Congress must show the world that our national commitment to NATO will remain rock-solid. We stand with the democratic countries of Europe and guarantee their protection.”

“Putin’s brutal war in Ukraine and Finland’s accession and Sweden’s pending accession into NATO all underscore the same thing: NATO is stronger than ever,” said Senator Kaine. “I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan bill to reaffirm the United States’ commitment to NATO and ensure any U.S. President can’t unilaterally decide to leave the alliance without congressional approval.”

“NATO serves as an essential military alliance that protects shared national interests and enhances America’s international presence. Any decision to leave the alliance should be rigorously debated and considered by the U.S. Congress with the input of the American people,” said Senator Rubio.

Specifically, the bill requires the U.S. President to seek the advice and consent of the Senate before suspending, terminating, or withdrawing U.S. membership in NATO. If a U.S. President attempts to leave NATO without Senate approval or an Act of Congress, the bill prohibits any funding from being used to do so and also authorizes Congressional Legal Counsel to challenge the Administration in court.

A supporter of the NATO alliance, Senator Cardin voted to ratify protocols for Finland and Sweden to join NATO in August 2022.

Full text of the bill is available here.