Democrats introduce bill to restrict Trump's ability to launch nukes

January 24, 2017
In The News

 

Two Democratic lawmakers introduced a bill on Tuesday that would prevent President Trump from launching a nuclear first strike without Congress declaring war.

A joint press release from Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., and Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., said that overseeing the policy of nuclear first use is "more urgent than ever now that President Trump has the power to launch a nuclear war at a moment's notice."

"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 said in a statement.

The bill would prevent the president from launching a nuclear weapon against an enemy who had not launched a nuclear weapon first unless Congress passes a war authorization that explicitly authorizes a nuclear first strike.

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The president has the sole authority to launch a nuclear weapon through a process devoid of checks and balances, in order to enable a quick response to a possible nuclear attack. If the president orders the launch of a nuclear weapon and someone within the chain of command questioned or defied the order, that would be grounds for dismissal, experts said.

During the campaign, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton questioned whether voters wanted someone as unpredictable as Trump to have the ability to launch a nuclear weapon.