An amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that reportedly would have made it clear that Article 5 of the NATO treaty does not eliminate the necessity for Congress to declare war was rejected by the Senate on Wednesday.
According to Article 5, as part of the collective defense commitment, an assault on one NATO member must be viewed as an attack on the whole alliance.
Sen. Rand Paul presented the bill while it is being considered whether Ukraine should join NATO even if it is at war with nuclear-armed Russia.
The result of the voting was 83 to 16.
In order to avoid being dragged into the battle under Article 5, President Joe Biden has opposed Ukraine’s admission to NATO while it is still at war with Russia, even while the United States and other Western allies strengthen Ukrainian defenses against the Kremlin’s invasion.
To pass, the amendment required 60 votes.
Instead, a majority of nearly 60 senators opposed it.
Senators had previously decided to place restrictions on the president’s ability to leave NATO without Senate consent.
People who favor NATO membership for Ukraine hold the view that doing so would have prevented the Russians from starting their invasion in the first place.
Opponents are concerned that adding Ukraine to NATO would trigger World War III and that expanding the alliance close to Russia’s borders was a driving force behind the invasion.