Josh Hawley Faces Backlash After Casting Sole Dissenting Vote on NATO Expansion

Josh Hawley Faces Backlash After Casting Sole Dissenting Vote on NATO Expansion

Top Senator Gets BLASTED For Being Sole Opponent To Historic Legislation

( – On August 3, the US Senate voted to add Sweden and Finland to NATO. It would have been a unanimous selection to welcome the pair into the alliance had it not been for one Republican holdout — Senator Josh Hawley (MO). Although there was no danger the Nordic countries would not garner the two-thirds support needed to pass the upper chamber, the Missouri lawmaker’s dissent sparked bipartisan controversy.

Hawley’s Rationale

The legislator cast the only “nay” in the bunch because he doesn’t think admitting the European nations into the protective group makes the United States any “safer.” The senator believes America needs to be laser-focused on securing its borders here at home and defending “against China abroad.”

He simply doesn’t believe America has the capacity to take care of those issues while expanding its reach in Europe.

Hawley went on to say he thinks the countries lack the ability to invest properly in their “own defenses,” meaning that responsibility could fall to the US. Despite the backlash, he defended his position on the matter, even though it did nothing to stop Sweden and Finland’s bid to join the alliance.

Although the Show-Me State lawmaker was the only one to stand up and say no, he wasn’t the only one who didn’t vote yes. Three other senators didn’t state their opinion at all: Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Pat Leahy (D-VT), and John Cornyn (R-TX). Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) simply said, “Present.”

Senate Reactions

Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) didn’t seem to understand why his Republican colleague chose to side with Russia on this issue. He said the NATO addition would make it easier for the group to defend against the Kremlin.

The Arkansas politician also said he wanted a better explanation as to why Hawley chose to turn down the memberships when he allowed North Macedonia and Montenegro into the fold without question years ago.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) also spoke out against his counterpart from Missouri. He defended the Nordic nations’ spending abilities, saying he found the “nay” election indefensible. Before the vote in the upper chamber, the Kentucky lawmaker made it clear that anyone voting no wouldn’t stop the additions to NATO.

Other Actions

The House of Representatives held polling in July to show its support for the new treaty members, although it was simply ceremonial, as the chamber has no official say in the matter. Every Democratic representative chose “yea,” along with most Republicans, while 18 legislators on the Right voted against the addition.

Do you agree Josh Hawley should have sided with his colleagues, or do you feel he has a valid point for his dissent?

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