Washington—Representatives Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Michael McCaul (R-TX), Ranking Member of the Committee, announced that they have introduced legislation to help North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies modernize their military forces and shift away from a reliance on Russian or old Soviet equipment. The NATO Defense Financing Act (H.R. 3194) would also focus on strengthening democracy across the alliance, particularly among NATO’s newer members.

The bill is scheduled for markup by the full committee later this week.

“If we want our NATO allies to be ready to face any threat, we need to help them replace obsolete Soviet equipment with modern systems compatible with the rest of the alliance. Our legislation allows for loans that would complement American security assistance and help our allies purchase this equipment,” said Chairman Engel. “The United States needs show strong leadership and support our European partners—because our own security depends upon a strong, modern NATO alliance.”

"At a time when Vladimir Putin continues his malign efforts throughout Europe and the world, we must support our NATO allies to defend themselves from this resurgent Russia," said Lead Republican McCaul. “This important legislation will allow for the United States to provide our allies with loans so they can replace their archaic Soviet-style military equipment with updated systems that are consistent with NATO's operational capabilities and move away from acquiring arms from China and Russia. This bill will make American industry more competitive abroad while simultaneously aligning our allies’ defense systems with those of the United States and the rest of NATO. NATO continues to be the bulwark against Russian belligerence and I am proud to introduce this legislation with Chairman Engel."

The NATO Defense Financing Act would express that it is United States policy to assist NATO allies in deploying modern, NATO interoperable equipment and work to strengthen the democratic institutions and practices of all NATO allies; authorize the President, acting through the Secretary of State, to make direct loans under to under the Arms Export Control Act to NATO member countries that joined the alliance after March 1, 1999; and require the Secretary of State to notify Congress not fewer than fifteen days before entering into an agreement.

Full text of the bill can be found here.

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