01:39 - Source: CNN
Trump isn't the first to ask NATO to pay more
CNN —  

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday invited NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg to address a joint session of Congress next month.

Stoltenberg has been asked to address lawmakers at 11 a.m. on April 3, which is the day before the 70th anniversary of the trans-Atlantic alliance, according to the letter sent Monday.

“During this critical time for the United States, NATO and the European Union, the U.S. Congress and the American people look forward to your message of friendship and partnership, as we work together to strengthen our critical alliance and advance a future of peace around the world,” Pelosi wrote to Stoltenberg.

The move comes a month after Pelosi helped lead a delegation to meet with NATO leaders in Brussels, Belgium. It indicates continued support for the alliance by congressional leaders despite reports that President Donald Trump considered withdrawing from NATO several times last year.

In January, the House asserted its approval of the alliance by passing the NATO Support Act. The bill, which had bipartisan backing, would prohibit the use of funds to withdraw from the alliance and states that it is US policy to remain a member of NATO.

Last year, the Republican-led Senate passed a similar measure and approved a motion of support for NATO the same day that Trump arrived in Brussels for a NATO summit. A bipartisan group of senators also introduced a bill that would require Senate approval for the US to withdraw from NATO.

Trump has expressed frustrations about the alliance throughout his presidency. He has complained that NATO allies are not spending enough on defense and has questioned the usefulness of the alliance.