State Politics

Fulcher on bipartisan NATO support bill: Other countries aren’t pulling their own weight

The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday passed bipartisan legislation providing congressional support for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, known more commonly as NATO.

New Idaho GOP Congressman Russ Fulcher is one of just 22 members who voted against the measure, which passed on a 357-22 vote.

The NATO Support Act prohibits the appropriation or use of funds to withdraw from the alliance. The legislation also includes language that the U.S. remain a member in good standing of NATO; reject any direct or indirect efforts to withdraw from NATO; and call on NATO members to pay their dues.

Fulcher told the Statesman via email on Wednesday he voted against the bill because it “empowers foreign leaders too much authority by locking the United States into the current terms of NATO. More than 20 countries currently don’t pay their dues; in so doing increasing obligations to the U.S. If we remove our own ability to make any changes to our position in the future, we also remove any leverage we could have to hold other nations accountable to pull their own weight.”

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Idaho Statesman investigative reporter Cynthia Sewell was named Idaho Press Club reporter of the year in 2017 and 2008. A University of Oregon graduate, she joined the Statesman in 2005. Her family has lived in Idaho since the mid-1800s.