Sen. Johnson Joins Bipartisan Group of Senators in Urging NATO Members to Pay Their Fair Share

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) joined Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska.) and 33 of their Senate colleagues in sending a letter to President Joe Biden expressing the need for NATO allies to honor their commitment to spend at least 2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) on defense. The letter comes ahead of the President’s planned trip to the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania next week.

“The lack of sufficient progress is politically and economically unsustainable. American citizens rightly question why our government disproportionately bears the burden – decade after decade – for Europe’s defense. In Vilnius, we respectfully request that you make this issue a priority,” the Senators wrote.

The Senators pointed out that the failure of so many members to meet their defense spending commitments risks undermining American public support for the alliance.

“That disparities in NATO member defense spending have persisted for so long is incompatible with genuine partnership,” the Senators continued.

In order to lead the alliance to a more concrete level of commitment in defense of our common interests, the Senators requested the President prioritize the following agenda items:

  1. NATO members prioritize defense spending and meet their 2 percent of GDP pledges at minimum.
  2. NATO members adopt the goal of increasing defense spending an additional 1 percent.

Sens. Johnson and Sullivan are joined in this letter by Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.), Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-Kan.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Michael Rounds (R-S.D.), Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), John Thune (R-S.D.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Gary Peters (R-Mich.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), and Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.)

Full text of the letter can be found here.