The U.S. Senate voted on Wednesday to ratify Sweden and Finland's membership into the NATO military alliance. The legislative body voted overwhelmingly to approve a treaty to expand NATO to include the two countries, with bipartisan support for the significant and historic expansion of the pact not seen in decades.
Lawmakers overwhelmingly backed the move with bipartisan support. Only Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri voted no to ratify, with Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky voting present. Senators voted 95-1 to ratify the treaty.
Later, President Joe Biden released a statement praising the endorsement of the two Nordic countries, writing, "I look forward to signing the accession protocols and welcoming Sweden and Finland."
Read the full statement from President Biden:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 3, 2022
Statement from President Biden on Senate Ratification of the NATO Accession Protocols for Sweden and Finland
Today, the Senate overwhelmingly endorsed our close partners Finland and Sweden joining NATO. This historic vote sends an important signal of the sustained, bipartisan U.S. commitment to NATO, and to ensuring our Alliance is prepared to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow. I thank the members of the Senate – especially Majority Leader Schumer, Minority Leader McConnell, Senator Menendez and Senator Risch -- for their leadership and for quickly advancing the ratification process, the fastest Senate process for a NATO protocol since 1981. Finland and Sweden joining the Alliance will further strengthen NATO’s collective security and deepen the transatlantic partnership.
As I told Prime Minister Andersson and President Niinistö when I hosted them at the White House in May, the United States remains committed to the security of Sweden and Finland. We will continue working to remain vigilant against any threats to our shared security, and to deter and confront aggression or the threat of aggression.
I look forward to signing the accession protocols and welcoming Sweden and Finland, two strong democracies with highly capable militaries, into the greatest defensive alliance in history.