Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) reintroduced the Allied Burden Sharing Report Act Wednesday, a bill that would require the Department of Defense to resume submitting an extensive report that includes the common defense contributions of NATO countries and other defense partners, including Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, Australia, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Thailand, the Philippines, and signatories of the Rio Treaty. The bill is cosponsored by Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Josh Hawley (R-Neb.), James Lankford (R-Okl.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), and Bill Haggerty (R-Tenn.).
A report of this kind was originally ordered in the 1985 National Defense Authorization Act, and continued in some form until 2004, when the Pentagon officials decided to shift their focus to our allies’ contributions to the Global War on Terror. The bill would require that this valuable report be brought back as our geopolitical climate continues to shift. “NATO and our other defense alliances have proven to be crucial over the years,” said Sen. Lee. “But for our alliances to be strong, effective, and trustworthy, all parties must keep their spending promises, not just the United States. This bill will help ensure that all parties are pulling their weight in our defense partnerships, and will help provide Congress a fuller picture of our allies’ capabilities and the state of the common defense.”
“I cannot in good conscience look away as America crumbles at home, and politicians tax us to send money to fund endless wars. For far too long, our allies have taken advantage of America and have failed to contribute to the common defense. That is not putting America first, and it is by far time we allow Congress to fulfill its oversight duties and pass the Allied Burden Sharing Report Act,” said Sen. Paul.
The report would be submitted annually to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the Senate Armed Services Committee, the House Armed Services Committee, and the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and made available to any member of Congress.