Dems introduce bill barring US from using nuclear weapons first

Dems introduce bill barring US from using nuclear weapons first

A pair of top Democrats in the House and Senate on Wednesday reintroduced a bill to make it U.S. policy not to use nuclear weapons first.

The bill was introduced by Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenDemocratic senators call on domestic airlines to issue cash refunds for travelers Biden's pick for vice president doesn't matter much Biden faces pesky enthusiasm challenge despite big primary numbers MORE (D-Mass.), a Senate Armed Services Committee member who is running for president in 2020, and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam SmithDavid (Adam) Adam SmithOvernight Defense: Pentagon orders bases to stop reporting coronavirus numbers | Hospital ship arrives in NY | Marines pause sending new recruits to boot camp | Defense bill work delayed House panel delays consideration of annual defense policy bill Overnight Energy: Military sees surge in sites contaminated by 'forever chemicals' | USDA closes office wing due to coronavirus | Watchdog raises concerns over Trump energy regulator MORE (D-Wash.).

“Our current nuclear strategy is not just outdated—it is dangerous,” Smith and Warren said in a joint statement Wednesday. “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, titled the No First Use Act, simply says, “It is the policy of the United States to not use nuclear weapons first.”

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Smith previously introduced the same bill in November 2017.

A Wednesday press release from Smith’s office argued the bill would improve U.S. national security by reducing the risk of a miscalculation, clarifying U.S. policy and preserving the ability to conduct a nuclear strike after a nuclear attack on the United States or its allies.

It has long been the policy of the United States that the country reserves the right to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike.

Former President Obama reportedly weighed changing the policy before leaving office, but ultimately did not after advisers argued doing so could embolden adversaries.

Since President TrumpDonald John TrumpIllinois governor says state has gotten 10 percent of medical equipments it's requested Biden leads Trump by 6 points in national poll Tesla offers ventilators free of cost to hospitals, Musk says MORE has been in office, Democrats have introduced several bills intended to limit his ability to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike.

On Tuesday, a separate pair of Democrats in the House and Senate reintroduced their bill to limit Trump’s nuclear powers.

The bill from Rep. Ted LieuTed W. LieuClay Aiken podcast looks for political balance Rep. Gosar defends calling coronavirus 'Wuhan virus' after criticism Carson on coronavirus: Task force is not 'sugarcoating' messaging MORE (D-Calif.) and Sen. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyDemocratic senators call on domestic airlines to issue cash refunds for travelers Overnight Energy: Critics blast EPA move as 'license to pollute' during pandemic | Trump expected to roll back Obama mileage standards| Group plans to sue over rollback of water law Hillicon Valley: Twitter says Chinese official's virus disinformation doesn't violate rules | Hackers target WHO | Senators urge agencies to stop coronavirus robocalls MORE (D-Mass.) would require congressional approval for Trump to launch a nuclear first strike.