U.S. lawmakers offer bill to block Trump from German troop withdrawal

FILE PHOTO: Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Eliot Engel (D-NY) speaks throughout a media briefing after a House vote approving guidelines for an impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 31, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. congressional Democrats launched laws on Thursday to dam President Donald Trump’s plan to take away 9,500 troops from shut ally Germany by prohibiting funding for a withdrawal of U.S. forces from Europe with out congressional approval.

Representative Eliot Engel, chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, and Senator Bob Menendez, rating Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, launched the invoice, reflecting concern in Congress from Democrats in addition to Trump’s fellow Republicans in regards to the plan to chop troops.

Trump stated on Monday he would cut back the variety of U.S. troops in Germany to 25,000, faulting Berlin for failing to satisfy NATO’s protection spending goal and accusing it of making the most of the United States on commerce.

The troop discount can be a outstanding rebuke to one of many closest U.S. buying and selling companions and will erode religion in a pillar of postwar European safety: that U.S. forces would defend alliance members in opposition to Russian aggression.

Under the U.S. Constitution’s separation of powers, the Senate and House of Representatives – not the White House – management authorities spending.

Lawmakers typically use their energy of the purse to affect coverage choices, resembling protecting the jail camp at Guantanamo Bay open by barring spending federal cash to shut it.

The invoice would prohibit using funds to withdraw or cut back the presence of U.S. armed forces in Europe until the host authorities requests it, or the president declares the intent 180 days prematurely, justifies the choice, Congress approves it and the secretaries of State and Defense testify about it.

“President Trump’s disastrous decision to withdraw thousands of troops from and reduce the total force cap in Germany endangers our national security,” Engel stated in a press release.

“Our legislation will stop the Administration from carrying out this calamitous policy,” he stated.

Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; modifying by Jonathan Oatis


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