Dems reintroduce bill to prevent nuclear first strike without congressional approval

Dems reintroduce bill to prevent nuclear first strike without congressional approval
© Getty Images

Rep. Ted LieuTed W. LieuLieu accuses Trump of asking Ukraine to 'manufacture dirt' on Biden Lieu weighs in on impeachment inquiry Lieu calls for change to House rules, saying administration 'brought a machete to a knife fight' MORE (D-Calif.) and Sen. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyDemocrats urge Rick Perry not to roll back lightbulb efficiency rules Ocasio-Cortez taps supporters for donations as former primary opponent pitches for Kennedy Rep. Joe Kennedy has history on his side in Senate bid MORE (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 TrumpDonald John TrumpGiuliani says he is unaware of reported federal investigation Louisiana's Democratic governor forced into runoff Lawmakers focus their ire on NBA, not China MORE is “unpredictable and rash.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“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.