House overwhelmingly backs NATO mutual
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[June 28, 2017]
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S.
House of Representatives voted nearly unanimously on Tuesday to reaffirm
the NATO alliance's guarantee that all members defend each other, weeks
after President Donald Trump raised doubts about Washington's support
for the agreement.
The vote was 423-4 in the House, where Trump's fellow Republicans hold a
48-seat majority, for a resolution "solemnly reaffirming" the U.S.
commitment to Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty.
It also supports calls for every NATO member to spend at least 2 percent
of its gross domestic product on defense by 2024.
During a visit to NATO headquarters in Brussels in May that was part of
his first overseas trip, Trump pointedly did not mention U.S. support
for that critical portion of the NATO charter, rattling allies. Instead,
he used a speech there to demand that member states pay more for the
Trump later said he backed the mutual defense agreement, and other
senior 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," Republican
House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement.
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NATO flags flutter during the final day of NATO Saber Strike
exercises in Orzysz, Poland, June 16, 2017. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins
The resolution was co-sponsored by Ryan and House Democratic Leader
Nancy Pelosi, as well as the number two Republican and Democrat in
the chamber, and the Republican chairman and the ranking Democrat on
the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
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