Radio Free Europe, 28 June 2017
The U.S. House of Representatives has voted nearly unanimously to reaffirm NATO’s guarantee that all members defend each other, weeks after President Donald Trump raised doubts about U.S. support for that guarantee.
The House, which is controlled by Trump’s fellow Republicans, voted 423-4 on June 27 for a resolution “solemnly reaffirming” the U.S. commitment to Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty.
It also called for every NATO member to spend at least 2 percent of gross domestic product on defense by 2024 — an issue that Trump has pressed on allies, most of whom fall short of that goal.
During a visit to NATO headquarters in Brussels in May, Trump did not mention whether he supported NATO’s mutual-defense guarantee, rattling allies. Instead, he demanded that member states pay more for their own defense.
Trump later said he backed the mutual-defense agreement, and other senior administration officials rushed to express U.S. support.
“With all the threats we and our partners face around the globe, a strong and secure NATO is more important than ever before,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan, who co-sponsored the House resolution with Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and other House leaders.