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Congressional conservatives launch effort to prevent 'endless wars' with resolution on NATO treaty

Conservatives in Congress are floating a new push to prevent “endless wars” with a resolution aiming to clarify a longstanding U.S. treaty.

Texas Republican Rep. Chip Roy is leading a House resolution on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) agreement to serve as a reminder that any armed conflict would need congressional approval.

Under Article 5 of the 1949 NATO treaty, members of the agreement are obliged to defend any allied nation under attack. However, Roy’s resolution says in the event Article 5 is invoked, the president would still need congressional approval to enter an armed conflict.

“Decisions of war and peace, of life and death, are among the most serious any government makes,” Roy told Fox News Digital. “The framers of our Constitution knew that, and they prudently vested the power to declare war in the legislative branch — the branch of government most accountable to the American people.”

Roy introduced the resolution with his colleagues Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., noting that it comes as “war rages on in Europe.”

“For decades, presidential administrations have misconstrued laws and treaties to engage in endless wars by circumventing Congress’ role in declaring war,” Davidson told Fox News Digital. “Only Congress can constitutionally authorize the use of military force, and Article 5 of NATO does not supersede the Constitution.”

Paul told Fox News Digital that perhaps “the most important question a member of Congress will ever face is whether to commit our nation’s young men and women to war.”

In the Senate, GOP Sens. Mike Lee of Utah, Josh Hawley of Missouri, Mike Braun of Indiana, and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming are joining Paul in the Senate push.

Josh Hawley

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., attends the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing titled Oversight of the Department of Justice, in Hart Building on March 1. (Tom Williams)

Additionally, the resolution is seeing support from a constellation of conservative political groups, including Citizens for Renewing America (CRA), Concerned Veterans for America, FreedomWorks and Heritage Action.

“The U.S. must not cede our Constitutional Republic to authoritarian rule, and this NATO War Powers Resolution will reaffirm this commitment to the American people,” FreedomWorks president Adam Brandon said. “Congress must rein in executive authority and return to its lawmaking directive the Founding Fathers intended it to have.”


Roy and Paul’s resolution is further sign that segments of the conservative side of the aisle are dissatisfied with the treaty.

“NATO is an organization that is increasingly out of alignment with what is best for American interests,” CRA president Russ Vought told Fox News Digital. “Despite the elevated status that many members of the failed foreign policy elite give to NATO, American membership in NATO does not negate Congress’ constitutionally-mandated role of declaring war and authorizing military action abroad.”

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