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H.R.669 / S.200 - Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act

To prohibit the conduct of a first-use nuclear strike absent a declaration of war by Congress.



You might favor this bill if:
►  You believe launching a first-use nuclear strike would constitute a major act of war and this decision should be made by the representatives of the people and not by one single person. Since the bill does not apply to retaliatory strikes and only applies to unprovoked nuclear strikes, this legislation would not impede on time sensitive situations. Nuclear strikes should be a last resort war tactic and having congressional approval on a first-use strike would help keep it that way.

You might oppose this bill if:
►  You believe that denying the president of even the possibility of launching a unilateral nuclear first strike can give our enemies leverage. A nuclear launch might be time sensitive and having congressional approval might delay the process of a time sensitive matter. National security should not be dependent on partisan politics; The President should have full authority in order for him to do his job correctly.

07/23/18 UPDATE: President Trump tweeted, in response to a comment of Iran's President Rouhani, a severe comment of "consequences" if the United States is "threatened again. Mr.Rouhani, in his comments, was himself threatening the possible disruption of oil shipments should his own exports be blocked by U.S. sanctions.

“America should know that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars," said President Rouhani.

“Governments around the world worry that confronting the Islamic Republic harms the cause of moderates, but these so-called moderates within the regime are still violent Islamic revolutionaries with an anti-America, anti-West agenda,” said Secretary of State Pompeo.

Many see President Trump's comments as a response to the criticism behind last week's Helsinki meeting with President Putin, while others see this as a direct attack threat to Iran. Trump supporters believe he will achieve similar results as he did with North Korea.



The Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act would prohibit the President from conducting a first-use nuclear strike, unless such strike is conducted after a congressional declaration of war expressly authorizing such strike. A “First-use nuclear strike” is defined as an attack using nuclear weapons against an enemy that is conducted without the President first determining that the enemy has first launched a nuclear strike against the U.S. or an ally of the U.S.

The bill states, “the framers of the Constitution understood that the monumental decision to go to war, which can result in massive death(s) and the destruction of civilized society, must be made by the representatives of the people and not by a single person.”

“It is a frightening reality that the U.S. now has a Commander-in-Chief who has demonstrated ignorance of the nuclear triad, stated his desire to be ‘unpredictable’ with nuclear weapons, and as President-elect was making sweeping statements about U.S. nuclear policy over Twitter. Congress must act to preserve global stability by restricting the circumstances under which the U.S. would be the first nation to use a nuclear weapon. Our Founders created a system of checks and balances, and it is essential for that standard to be applied to the potentially civilization-ending threat of nuclear war.” said Rep. Lieu in the legislation's press release.


“Nuclear war poses the gravest risk to human survival. Yet, President Trump has suggested that he would consider launching nuclear attacks against terrorists. Unfortunately, by maintaining the option of using nuclear weapons first in a conflict, U.S. policy provides him with that power. In a crisis with another nuclear-armed country, this policy drastically increases the risk of unintended nuclear escalation. Neither President Trump, nor any other president, should be allowed to use nuclear weapons except in response to a nuclear attack. By restricting the first use of nuclear weapons, this legislation enshrines that simple principle into law,” said Senator Markey in the press release.


H.R.669

Sponsored by: Rep. Ted Lieu [D-CA33].

Cosponsored by: 1 Rep / 80 Dem.

See list of cosponsors.



S.200

Sponsored by: Sen. Markey, Edward J. [D-MA]

Cosponsored by: 0 Rep / 12 Dem / 1 Ind.

See list of cosponsors.




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