Bills introduced to the House and Senate (H.R. 669 and S.200) by Representative Ted W. Lieu (D- Los Angeles County) and Senator Edward J. Markey (D- Massachusetts) would restrict the president’s capacity to launch a first nuclear strike without a declaration of war by Congress. Both of the bills have been introduced to their respective Foreign Affairs Committees as of January 24th.
“First strike” refers to the capacity of the president to pre-emptively launch a nuclear missile before determining that the enemy in question has carried out a nuclear attack. As it stands, the president wields considerable authority in determining if and when the United States shall engage in nuclear warfare.
This bill would require the president to seek Congressional approval over the use of a nuclear weapon through Congress enacting a formal declaration of war. This mechanism would ultimately bind nuclear deployment to the same democratic sense of decision making that governs our country’s decision to go to war.
President Trump possesses direct control over at least 7,000 warheads and maintains the final say as to whether or not these warheads will be deployed. This considerable breadth of authority is alarming when taken in conjunction with the president’s statements on nuclear warfare.
This article by The Washington Post further puts this issue into perspective.
Contact the members of these committees and show your support for the bill. Provide a valuable and necessary voice to oppose reckless nuclear usage.
Here is a list of each of the members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee.
Representative Steve Chabot of Ohio is on the House committee and Senators Rand Paul of Kentucky and Rob Portman of Ohio are on the Senate committee. Contacting them directly would provide them with the knowledge that their direct constituents are for this bill.
- Representative Steve Chabot can be called at (513) 684-2723
- Senator Rob Portman can be called at (513) 684-3265
- Senator Rand Paul can be called at (270) 782-8303