A bipartisan group of U.S. senators announced a move to limit President Donald Trump’s ability to withdraw troops from Germany by restricting taxpayer dollars.
The six senators, including influential Republicans Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio, announced an amendment to the national defence spending legislation (NDAA) for fiscal year 2021 that would limit the use of funds for reducing troops in Germany.
The amendment would prevent funds from being used for reducing troops until the Defence Secretary submits a report “certifying” that a withdrawal would not undermine U.S. security and U.S. allies.
The senators also demand verification that a withdrawal will not harm NATO, U.S. military operations or military families and will not cause “signficant” additional costs for redeploying forces.
The NDAA, which typically receives large bipartisan support, must pass both the House and Senate before being sent to the White House.
Trump announced earlier this month that the U.S. will draw down its deployment in Germany to 25,000 troops, accusing Berlin of being “delinquent” in payments to NATO.
The president later said he will move some troops from Germany to Poland, as he bashed Berlin for failing to meet a NATO defence-spending target and for buying energy from Russia.
“At a time when the U.S. and our European allies must continue to stand hand in hand in deterring malign influences, it is in our national security interest, as well as in the interest of our allies and partners, to continue our presence in Germany,” Senator Rubio said.