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House Dem calls for bill to restrict Trump's ability to launch preemptive nukes

House Dem calls for bill to restrict Trump's ability to launch preemptive nukes
© Greg Nash

Rep. Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaOvernight Finance: GOP eyes vote to fund government through March 23 | How much credit should Trump get for economy? | Dems vow to repeal parts of GOP tax law | Mulvaney shakes up office policing racism in lending Dems vow to repeal parts of GOP tax law The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-Calif.) called on Wednesday for lawmakers to pass a measure barring President TrumpDonald John TrumpTillerson: Russia already looking to interfere in 2018 midterms Dems pick up deep-red legislative seat in Missouri Speier on Trump's desire for military parade: 'We have a Napoleon in the making' MORE from launching a preemptive nuclear strike on North Korea without congressional approval.

Khanna's comments followed Trump's claim on Tuesday that the U.S. has a "much bigger" and "more powerful" nuclear arsenal than that of North Korea, after that country's leader, Kim Jong Un, said that he has a nuclear launch button on the desk in his office.

Another House Democrat, Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellDem lawmaker introduces bill to protect journalists from violence Lawmakers dispute ‘vindication’ for Trump in Intel memo House Intel Dem blasts GOP rep for failing to disclose key info in Nunes memo MORE (Calif.), similarly called on Tuesday for lawmakers to have a say in whether Trump launches a preemptive nuclear strike on North Korea. 

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Democrats in both the House and the Senate have introduced legislation that would curb the president's ability to conduct such a strike without getting an OK from lawmakers. 

Trump has repeatedly threatened the possibility of military action against North Korea, which has made strides in its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs over the past year. Reports on Tuesday indicated that Pyongyang may be preparing for another missile test.

In a New Year's Day speech this week, Kim said that the international community would have to accept as a "reality" that North Korea is a nuclear-armed state capable of striking the U.S.

Trump's tweet about the U.S. nuclear arsenal on Tuesday evening, however, appeared to dismiss that assertion, raising once against the possibility of a confrontation with North Korea.