On January 30th, a pair of top Democrats in the House and Senate introduced a bill that attempts to make US not use nuclear weapons first.
The bill was introduced by Sen. Elizabeth Warren a Senate Armed Services Committee member who is running for president in 2020, and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith.
“Our current nuclear strategy is not just outdated—it is dangerous,” Smith and Warren said in a joint statement. “By making clear that deterrence is the sole purpose of our arsenal, this bill would reduce the chances of a nuclear miscalculation and help us maintain our moral and diplomatic leadership in the world.”
The bill is called the “No First Use Act,” and it simply says: “It is the policy of the United States to not use nuclear weapons first.”
The same bill was introduced by Smith in November 2017.
A press release from Smith’s office claimed that the bill would improve US national security. It would do so by reducing any risk of miscalculation, it would also clarify US policy and preserve the ability to conduct a nuclear strike after a nuclear attack on the United States or its allies.
Former President Barack Obama considered changing the policy, but was advised otherwise.
Democrats have attempted to introduce several bills aimed at limiting Trump’s ability to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike since he assumed office.
On the previous day, another pair of two other Democrats introduced a bill that would limit Trump’s ability to launch a nuclear strike.
Rep. Ted Lieu and Sen. Ed Markey announced they would introduce a bill that would stop the POTUS 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 the infamous Trump tweet from January 2018 that taunted North Korea over the size of his nuclear button.
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” 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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018
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.”
Similar legislation was also introduced in 2018, following the tweet, but it did not pass.