WASHINGTON — The Senate is expected to vote on a resolution Wednesday to ratify Finland and Sweden’s bids for NATO membership as the Western military alliance seeks to strengthen its resolve against the threat posed by Russia.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., said Tuesday night that the chamber would vote on the resolution and two GOP amendments Wednesday afternoon.
“Our NATO alliance is the foundation that has guaranteed democracy in the western world since the end of World War II,” he told the Senate. “This further strengthens NATO and is particularly necessary given the recent Russian aggression.”
In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Finland and Sweden are seeking to join the alliance that would end their longstanding military neutrality.
Schumer said when he and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., met with the Finnish president and Swedish prime minister in May, they pledged to ratify their membership in NATO before the August Senate recess.
The Majority Leader also said he had invited the ambassadors of Finland and Sweden to follow the debate and voting from the Chamber’s tribune.
One of the amendments to be voted on, by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., says the alliance’s collective defense agreement if a member is under attack does not replace Congress’s role in declaring war. The other, by Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, states that every NATO member should commit to a 2% GDP spending target.
NATO formally invited Finland and Sweden to join the alliance at the end of June, and all 30 NATO countries are considering their applications, which must be ratified by each member. Turkey initially threatened to oppose its membership in part because of its perceived support for the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party, but has since withdrawn its objections.
At least two-thirds of the Senate must vote in favor of the resolution for it to be ratified. Once that is done, the Biden administration will present the documents to the alliance.
Kate Santaliz contributed.
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/senate-vote-ratifying-finland-swedens-membership-nato-rcna41276 Senate votes on ratification of Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership