House votes to bar Trump from exiting NATO

The House voted overwhelmingly Tuesday night to block President Trump from spending any federal money to withdraw from NATO and to set a formal policy that the U.S. will “remain a member in good standing.”

“This branch of government fully supports the alliance, the collective defense of our allies, and peace across the North Atlantic region,” House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., said during a floor debate.

The bill passed easily in a 357-22 vote — all the “no” votes came from Republicans

Rep. Jimmy Panetta, D-Calif., introduced the NATO Support Act last week, just days after a New York Times report said President Trump has “privately said he wanted to withdraw from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.”

The legislation reiterates the support of Congress for NATO and denounces any effort to withdraw or “indirectly withdraw” through a cut in U.S. commitments to the alliance. It would also deny funding to implement such a decision by the president.

“NATO is our greatest strategic advantage, one built over time and at great sacrifice,” Engel said. “We simply cannot cede such an advantage. Past and future generations alike would never forgive the squandering of something so precious.”

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