Pelosi, McConnell invite NATO leader to address Congress

Congressional leaders on Monday invited the head of NATO to address a joint session of Congress next month amid concerns about President TrumpDonald John TrumpButtigieg: ‘I have more years of government experience under my belt’ than Trump Tucker Carlson says he won’t apologize for comments in resurfaced radio interview Buttigieg calls Pence ‘cheerleader for the porn star presidency’ MORE‘s commitment to the transatlantic alliance.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D’Alesandro PelosiPelosi, Schumer push back on new Trump demand for wall funding: ‘We hope he learned his lesson’ Five things to watch for in Trump’s 2020 budget Democrats hurting themselves with handling of Ilhan Omar controversy MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTop McConnell spokesman to join Global Automakers Michelle Malkin digs in on jab at ‘the ghost of John McCain’ Most 2020 Dems reject socialism label MORE (R-Ky.) agreed to invite NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday, April 3 at 11 a.m. The address will come a day before NATO’s 70th anniversary on April 4.

“During this critical time for the United States, NATO and the European Union, the U.S. Congress and the American people look forward to your message of friendship and partnership, as we work together to strengthen our critical alliance and advance a future of peace around the world,” Pelosi wrote in a letter to Stoltenberg on behalf of bipartisan House and Senate leaders.

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Stoltenberg’s visit will offer members of Congress the opportunity to show bipartisan support for NATO. But it also gives Stoltenberg a chance to rebut any criticisms from Trump and make the case for the importance of the alliance.

Pelosi recently visited Brussels, where the alliance is headquartered, in February as part of a congressional delegation and met with NATO leadership, including Stoltenberg.

Stoltenberg’s visit will mark the first joint address to Congress from a foreign leader since Pelosi returned to the Speaker’s Office in January.

The House passed a resolution in January to reaffirm bipartisan support for the alliance, with only 22 conservative Republicans in opposition.

Its passage came after The New York Times reported that Trump had repeatedly floated leaving NATO in the past year. Trump has repeatedly called for NATO members to increase defense spending.

Current and former administration officials in support of the alliance worried that the withdrawal would embolden Russia and threaten European alliances. 

The Senate also passed a resolution in support of NATO last July ahead of Trump’s visit to the annual NATO summit in Brussels. It also came ahead of his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, days later.

—Updated at 6:01 p.m.

thehill.com/homenews/house/433545-pelosi-mcconnell-to-invite-nato-leader-to-address-congress

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