Shaheen, Tillis Lead Bicameral, Bipartisan Letter Pushing for Congressional Leadership to Invite NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to Address Joint Session of Congress
**Shaheen is co-chair of the Senate NATO Observer Group, which she re-established with Senator Tillis (R-NC) in 2018**
**Address would serve as an opportunity to speak directly to the American people on importance of NATO’s mission amidst Russia’s threat to the rules-based world order**
**Shaheen’s letter comes ahead of 2023 NATO Summit in Vilnius**
(Washington, DC) - U.S Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) Thom Tillis (R-NC), co-chairs of the Senate NATO Observer Group, sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (CA-55) urging them to invite NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to address a joint session of Congress. Also signing the letter are U.S. Representatives Linda Sanchez (CA-38), Michael Turner (OH-10) and Gerald Connolly (VA-11), who serve as leaders of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The letter comes ahead of the 2023 NATO Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, where Allies will consider next steps to advance the 2022 NATO Strategic Concept, which asserted the Alliance’s objectives, including strengthening and unifying NATO, bolstering deterrence on the Eastern Flank and working to respond to emerging security challenges in the Indo-Pacific.
The lawmakers wrote, in part, “For over 70 years, NATO has played a key role in promoting and protecting transatlantic security and maintaining a peaceful, rules-based world order. Starting as an Alliance of 12 founding nations, NATO has grown to 31 members who remain committed to safeguarding Allies’ freedom and security. Although urgent action by some NATO Allies is still needed to advance Sweden’s accession without delay, by welcoming Finland into the Alliance, NATO proved that it is the strongest and most unified it has ever been despite Vladimir Putin’s continued efforts to wage an unprovoked and illegal war in Ukraine. Together with our Allies, the U.S. has provided essential humanitarian assistance and defense capabilities to help the Ukrainians secure victory.”
“At this critical juncture in transatlantic security, we urge you to invite Secretary General Stoltenberg to address a joint session of Congress to speak directly to the American people on why strong bipartisan support for NATO is critical to advancing U.S. national security interests. Secretary General Stoltenberg has served this role with distinction and led NATO during the most pivotal moment in its history. The United States would benefit from an opportunity to hear directly from the Secretary General before he is due to step down from this role this year,” concluded the lawmakers.
The letter can be read in full here.
Also a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Shaheen has led action to combat Vladimir Putin’s belligerence in Ukraine and across Eastern Europe. Shaheen has led bipartisan efforts in the Senate with Senator Tillis in support of the transatlantic Alliance, and specifically around Finland and Sweden's accession into NATO. Shaheen, a member of the Senate Ukraine Caucus, has led two bipartisan delegations to Ukraine and met with President Zelenskyy to reaffirm U.S. support for Ukraine. In addition, legislation co-led by Shaheen to speed up military assistance to Ukraine and Eastern European nations was signed into law last year. Shaheen and Tillis led the U.S. delegation to the NATO Summit in Madrid last year, and previously traveled together to the NATO Summit in Brussels in 2018.