Bacon-supported bipartisan proposal backing NATO receives House approval

The U.S. House of Representatives on Jan. 22 approved the NATO Support Act, bipartisan legislation supported by U.S. Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE).

“America’s alliances are a source of strength and security for our country, and among our defense treaties, NATO stands alone as the most successful military alliance in history,” said Rep. Bacon, one of 10 original cosponsors of H.R. 676.

H.R. 676, introduced on Jan. 17 by U.S. Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), would prohibit the appropriation or use of funds to withdraw the United States from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Other cosponsors joining Rep. Bacon as a cosponsor include U.S. Reps. Fred Upton (R-MI), Will Hurd (R-TX), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA).

For almost 70 years, Rep. Kinzinger said that the United States, through its alliance with NATO, has “successfully defeated communism, halted genocide in the Balkans, defended against threats from terrorism in Afghanistan, and maintained cohesion with our like-minded democratic partners.”

“While we no longer face the same existential threat posed by the Soviet Union, NATO’s resolve and stability has helped maintain peace in a world drowning with strongmen,” he added.

H.R. 676 specifically would require advance approval of funding by Congress to withdraw America from its defensive alliance with NATO, according to Rep. Bacon’s statement.

Additionally, H.R. 676 supports NATO member efforts to spend at least 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense, the statement says.

“On the 70th anniversary of this historic treaty, it is right for Congress to express its support for the NATO alliance and to make clear to our allies and adversaries alike that the American people are absolutely committed to staying in NATO,” Rep. Bacon said last week.

The North Atlantic Treaty, signed in 1949 by U.S. President Harry Truman, that same year established NATO as a security alliance, which currently is comprised of 28 countries from North America and Europe, according to Rep. Bacon’s office and the text of the proposed bill.

In addition to its role of defending allied nations, NATO conducts ongoing security operations in the Balkans and Mediterranean region and leads the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, according to the congressman.

“As a student of history, it is clear our defense alliances have preserved peace and greatly enhanced economic prosperity around the world since the end of” World War II, said Rep. Bacon.
“I can confidently state from first-hand experience as a career military officer and former base commander in Europe that our participation in the NATO alliance remains critical to U.S. military operations today.”

The U.S. Senate on Jan. 23 received H.R. 676 for consideration.