Washington, D.C. – Today the House of Representatives passed a bipartisan resolution (H. Res. 397) that reaffirms the United States’ commitment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s principle of collective defense as laid out in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty.

On the House floor prior to the vote, Chairman Royce delivered the following remarks (as prepared for delivery):

“I want to thank Speaker Ryan, Minority Leader Pelosi, Leader McCarthy and Minority Whip Hoyer for their leadership on this important resolution. And of course, Ranking Member Engel has also been a strong supporter of the NATO alliance.

Many others in the House, like the gentleman from Tennessee, Mr. Cohen, have also played a key role in highlighting the critical nature of this security partnership.

Mr. Speaker – in 1949, 12 free, democratic nations bound themselves together in an unprecedented defensive alliance, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

These founding members acted in the aftermath of World War II to promote peace in Europe, protect their freedom, and to face the threats they saw emerging on the horizon.

After more than six decades, this alliance has been the cornerstone of trans-Atlantic security, and attracted other freedom-loving, democratic nations to join its ranks.

Of course, Article V’s principle of collective defense has been key to the success of the alliance.

And we will not forget how the United States has benefited from that principle, as NATO members unanimously elected to come to our support after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

And like the founding members of the alliance, we are now evaluating how to best adapt to face the emerging challenges we see on the horizon.

Proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, cyber-attacks, and non-conventional attacks by terrorist groups against our people are threats NATO’s founders could not have anticipated, yet they are the challenges that we must act now to address.  And we are stronger, no question, when we are together.

Unfortunately, the old threat that animated the alliance as the Soviet Union is back threatening NATO as the Russian Federation under Vladimir Putin. This threat comes not only in military might – but through targeted disinformation and propaganda.  Moscow’s strategic objective is to break apart the NATO alliance to boost Russian geopolitical influence in Western Europe.

In light of these threats, it is even more important that NATO members meet the standard of investing two percent of their GDP on defense. We appreciate the few who already meet the minimum requirement: Estonia, Greece, Poland and the UK.  At the Administration’s urging, others have stepped up their game – such as Latvia, Lithuania, and Romania – but others have further to go.

This resolution calls on NATO Members to meet these commitments, while also reaffirming our own commitment to NATO and the Article V provision for collective defense.

I urge my colleagues to join me in support of this resolution.”