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Dems Propose Bill to Bar Trump From First Nuke Use Without Congressional Approval

Image: Dems Propose Bill to Bar Trump From First Nuke Use Without Congressional Approval

Sen. Ed Markey (AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 24 Jan 2017 03:34 PM

Two Democratic lawmakers introduced a bill that would prevent President Donald Trump from launching a nuclear first strike unless Congress issues a declaration of war.

Massachusetts Sen. Edward J. Markey and California Rep. Ted W. Lieu made the announcement of the legislation on Lieu's website.

"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," Lieu, a California Democrat, said.

"Nuclear war poses the greatest 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."

Former secretary of defense William J. Perry expressed his support for the First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act. "During my period as secretary of defense, I never confronted a situation, or could even imagine a situation, in which I would recommend that the President make a first strike with nuclear weapons — understanding that such an action, whatever the provocation, would likely bring about the end of civilization. I believe that the legislation proposed by Congressman Lieu and Senator Markey recognizes that terrible reality," Perry said.

Lieu and Markey introduced a bill during 2016, but it did not advance. It appears unlikely to advance this year, because of the Republican-controlled Congress, according to the Washington Times.

Military policy and U.S. law gives the president the authority to call for a nuclear attack.

"Nuclear should be off the table, but will there be a time when it should be used? Possibly," Trump said in March during an MSNBC interview.

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Two Democratic lawmakers introduced a bill that would prevent President Donald Trump from launching a nuclear first strike unless Congress issues a declaration of war.
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2017-34-24
Tuesday, 24 Jan 2017 03:34 PM
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