June 28, 2017

House To Reaffirm U.S. Commitment To NATO

Trump rhetoric on Article V prompts Congress to act to assure nervous NATO allies.

by Chris Thomas

Photo credit: Piron Guillaume

House Resolutions are toothless things but the President‚Äôs willingness to describe NATO as ‚Äúobsolete‚ÄĚ has prompted more studious policy wonks in both parties to hurry to reassure U.S. allies that the country remains committed to the cold-war treaty. While President Trump has since backpedaled from his dismissal of the treaty, a bipartisan cadre of veteran Representatives is pushing a resolution to vocally support the treaty organization.

Why It Matters

The Constitution places the responsibility for diplomacy and foreign relations squarely in the Executive’s domain and so President Trump’s dismissal of the NATO treaty and American commitments under it ruffled feathers on the international stage. While Congress has been unwilling to exercise its war powers since the Second World War, this resolution justifies an intrusion upon Presidential diplomatic responsibilities by way of those powers.

Even so, a Congressional resolution means very little to U.S. allies. With no money, no policy, and no authority over U.S. forces at home or abroad, Congress can do very little to reassure American allies that the US commitment to NATO remains strong. It does suggest, however, that not all in the Republican Party are happy with President Trump’s isolationist rhetoric and that Russia remains a real concern to the US Congress.

Cosponsors

  • Engel, Eliot¬†(D-NY)
  • Hoyer, Steny¬†(D-MD)
  • McCarthy, Kevin¬†(R-CA)
  • Pelosi, Nancy¬†(D-CA)
  • Royce, Edward ‚ÄúEd‚Ä̬†(R-CA)

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