House votes to prevent Trump from leaving NATO

TThe House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly Tuesday night to prevent President Trump from spending federal money to withdraw from NATO and establish a formal policy that the United States "will remain a member with a good reputation."

"This branch of government fully supports the alliance, the collective defense of our allies and peace in the North Atlantic region," said the Foreign Affairs Speaker of the House of Representatives, Eliot Engel, DN.Y., during a debate .

The bill was easily approved in a vote of 357-22; all the "no" votes came from the Republicans.

Rep. Jimmy Panetta, a California Democrat, introduced the NATO Support Act last week, a few days after a New York Times report said that President Trump "privately said he wanted to withdraw from the NATO Treaty Organization." North Atlantic".

The legislation reiterates congressional support for NATO and denounces any effort to withdraw or "withdraw indirectly" through a cut in US commitments to the alliance. It would also deny funding to implement such a decision by the president.

"NATO is our greatest strategic advantage, built over time and with great sacrifice," Engel said. "We simply can not give up that advantage, past and future generations alike will never forgive the waste of something so precious."

President Trump has shaken the Western allies with his various criticisms of the alliance, which dates back to the election campaign when he told reporters that NATO members could not badume that the United States would defend them from an attack.

"If they fulfill their obligations to us, the answer is yes," he said. It did not support Article V of the treaty, the provision that establishes that NATO members will defend each other if they are attacked, until the following year.

"Certainly, we are there to protect," Trump said in June 2017.

Panetta, the author of the bill, blamed Trump for sowing such doubts.

"The promise of mutual defense is the reason why NATO has been the most successful military alliance in history," he said. "It is an interdependence that has remained a solid, solid and solid anchor for peace that has prevented new world wars, fostered prosperity, and advanced democratic governance."

The Trump administration has argued that its policies, especially the insistence on increasing the defense spending of European nations, has strengthened the alliance, has not weakened it.

"We have already reconstructed NATO in an important way," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters after his trip to the summit of NATO's foreign minister in December. "NATO is a much stronger organization as a result of the Trump administration than it was in the previous decade, I badure you, and the 28 European ministers who were with me today also know it."

The main Republican in the Committee on Foreign Affairs supported Panetta's effort, but echoed the president's criticism of European allies.

"A mutual defense alliance is as strong as each country's commitment to its spending objectives," Texas representative Michael McCaul, the highest ranking member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said on the floor. "Supporting statements like this bill are important to affirm our relationships around the world. But actions speak more than words. "No statement on the importance of NATO speaks as strongly as a tangible commitment that each country makes to ensure the strength of the alliance."

Panetta also called for increases in spending, but sharpened Trump's reprimand.

"NATO is not, is not, a transactional relationship," said the California Democrat. "Our only focus can not be just who pays and who gets what, being part of NATO is not like being part of a country club … NATO is fundamental to separating us from Russia, why? they will support, Russia does not. "

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