March 11 (UPI) -- Lawmakers invited NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg to address a joint session of Congress in April.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky held discussions about inviting Stoltenberg to Congress in April, for the 70th anniversary of the NATO alliance, three people familiar with the discussions told The Washington Post.
"Leader McConnell and Speaker Pelosi have agreed to invite Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg to address a joint session of Congress this spring," McConnell spokesman David Popp told Defense News. "We will have additional details of the Secretary-General's speech in the weeks to come."
The invitation comes as President Donald Trump considers a proposal demanding that U.S. allies, including NATO countries, pay the full cost of stationing U.S. troops on their territory, plus 50 percent, the Post reported.
Inviting Stoltenberg to address Congress would be an attempt to underscore the U.S. commitment to NATO's values as well as its importance in securing global order, the sources told the Post.
They added that McConnell reached out to Pelosi to extend the invitation in order to give Stoltenberg a venue to discuss concerns that NATO members weren't meeting their defense spending obligations.
Pelosi led a congressional delegation to Brussels in February where she met with Stoltenberg and other NATO leaders where she said that Congress supports the alliance and that the United States wasn't considering leaving the alliance.
Both branches of Congress have also passed legislation stating their support of NATO dating back to July.