Dems Reintroduce Bill to Prevent Nuclear First Strike Without Congressional Approval
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) on Tuesday announced that they will reintroduce a bill that would stop the president from being able to launch a first strike nuclear attack without first having congressional approval.
At a press conference announcing the legislation, Lieu said the bill is needed because President Trump is “unpredictable and rash.”
“Trump’s brand is to be unpredictable and rash, which is exactly what you don’t want the person who possesses the nuclear football to be,” Lieu said, according to a press release. “We introduced this bill under the Obama administration but Trump’s presidency has highlighted just how scary it is that any president has the authority to launch a nuke without congressional consultation.”
The statement cited a Trump tweet from January 2018 that taunted North Korea over the size of his nuclear button.
“Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!” Trump wrote, referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Markey added in the statement that no president "should have the power to launch a first use nuclear first strike absent such an attack without explicit Congressional approval."
Lawmakers in the past, including Lieu and Markey, have introduced similar legislation, but it has stalled in Congress.
The legislation, called the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2019, will be introduced by Lieu in the House and Markey in the Senate.