Miss. Lawmakers Join Bipartisan Letter to President Biden Urging Swift Advancement of Bid to Expand NATO

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today joined 80 colleagues in a letter to President Biden urging him to expedite Sweden and Finland’s applications for NATO membership and pledging to work with the administration to ensure swift ratification of the Washington Treaty. 

In the letter, the Senators noted that expanding NATO will send a clear message to Russian President Vladimir Putin and authoritarian leaders across the globe that the free world stands ready to bolster the alliance.

“As Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine has proven, NATO, along with our democratic partners around the world, is more united than ever in opposition to the illegal acts of war waged by President Putin.  Expanding NATO to include Finland and Sweden will send a clear message to Vladimir Putin, and any leader that attempts to follow in his path, that the free world stands ready to defend its values and sovereignty.  We will also continue to support NATO’s open-door policy, which affirms that new members are welcome to the alliance,” the Senators wrote.

The Senators also affirmed their support for Sweden and Finland’s applications as part of the Senate’s constitutional role to advise and consent.  The Senators also noted this expansion will further strengthen NATO military and diplomatic capabilities to address emerging threats, and extend mutual security assurances to these two governments.

“Members of the U.S. Senate take seriously our role in advising and consenting to NATO enlargement, a process that must be approved by all NATO member states.  We affirm our support for Sweden and Finland’s applications for membership.  In addition, we pledge to work closely with you and with our Senate colleagues to ensure that their applications are swiftly considered and approved by the Senate,” the Senators concluded.  “The transatlantic alliance has never been more crucial to global security and stability.  The addition of these two important allies to NATO will ensure the alliance’s resilience and readiness, and we look forward to welcoming Sweden and Finland to NATO.”

The letter was led by co-chairs of the Senate NATO Observer Group, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.).

In addition to Wicker and Hyde-Smith, signers included U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.), Thomas Carper (D-Del.), Christopher Coons (D-Del.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), Angus King (I-Maine), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Margaret Hassan (D-N.H.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Patrick Toomey (R-Pa.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Chares, Schumer (D-N.Y.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Deb. Fischer (R-Neb.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.), Shelly Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Robert Casey (D-Pa.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-Kan.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass).

Read the letter here.