WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger called on Congress to recognize the significance of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and to reaffirm the alliance’s indispensable role in promoting U.S. national security, economic strength, and successful diplomatic engagement efforts. NATO marks its 70th anniversary next month.
During a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing focused on congressional support for NATO, Spanberger highlighted the continued need for strong and principled U.S. leadership within NATO—and pressed witnesses on the stabilizing effect NATO provides in creating the conditions for long-term, safe, and sustainable trade relationships and economic growth. Click here to watch her remarks.
“The administration’s hints at a NATO withdrawal are troubling, and the constant rhetoric deriding our Allies’ commitments to our shared defense and shared values is unproductive. Especially as we watch Russia’s destabilizing behavior in eastern Europe today, we must work together to reinforce NATO’s core principles of international cooperation, mutual security, and democracy,” said Spanberger. “Since the beginning of the Cold War, the NATO alliance has played a key role in safeguarding American lives and interests, encouraging adoption of our democratic ideals, and providing the conditions for stable economic growth. I’ll continue to push for the preservation of this necessary and successful alliance, as well as the economic benefits it helps secure for Central Virginians and all Americans.
“Additionally, I’m urging my colleagues in the Senate to pass a bipartisan bill I helped introduce to voice congressional support for NATO,” continued Spanberger. “Our bill would reject any effort by the administration to withdraw from the alliance, support NATO member efforts to enhance their defense spending, and promote new initiatives to counter Russian aggression. As we prepare to mark the 70th anniversary of this historic alliance, we must do more to recognize the alliance’s significant impact on America’s influence, economic strength, and diplomatic leverage.”
Spanberger is a cosponsor of the NATO Support Act, which passed overwhelmingly in the U.S. House in January. The bipartisan legislation would reject any efforts by the administration to withdraw from the NATO alliance, which is the longest-standing military alliance in the world. The measure would also support NATO member efforts to spend at least two percent of their gross domestic product on defense, and to counter Russian aggression, the bill would promote robust funding for the European Deterrence Initiative.
NATO is a transatlantic alliance of 29 member countries that aims to guarantee the security and freedom of its members. Since its inception, NATO has been committed to the principle that an attack against one or several of its members is considered as an attack against all. This principle is outlined in Article 5 of the Washington Treaty. So far, Article 5 has been invoked once—in response to the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001.
A former case officer with the Central Intelligence Agency, Spanberger is committed to reinforcing the importance of U.S. relationships with key allies in Europe, Asia, and around the world.
Spanberger serves as Vice-Chair of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, Energy, and the Environment. The Subcommittee is responsible for legislation related to U.S. foreign policy and engagement in Europe and Eurasia, and it maintains oversight of legislation related to global energy trends, energy security, and environmental protection.
And last month, Spanberger announced her appointment to serve as Co-Chair of the New Democrat Coalition National Security Task Force. As Co-Chair, Spanberger will focus on demonstrating the importance of American leadership abroad and reaffirming a commitment to the vital role of diplomacy and strengthened partnerships with our allies, including in Europe.