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) KhannaPelosi uses Trump to her advantage Progressive Democrat says Trump victory shed light on divide between Silicon Valley, rural US Democratic rep says targeted sanctions on Huawei are 'reasonable' MORE (D-Calif.) called on Wednesday for lawmakers to pass a measure barring President TrumpDonald John TrumpPapadopoulos on AG's new powers: 'Trump is now on the offense' Pelosi uses Trump to her advantage Mike Pence delivers West Point commencement address 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 SwalwellHouse Intelligence enjoys breakthrough with Justice Department Hillicon Valley: Assange hit with 17 more charges | Facebook removes record 2.2B fake profiles | Senate passes anti-robocall bill | Senators offer bill to help companies remove Huawei equipment On The Money: Senate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump | Trump to offer B aid package for farmers | House votes to boost retirement savings | Study says new tariffs to double costs for consumers 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.