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 Ann WarrenDNC punts on measure to reduce role of corporate PAC money Bill Maher to Dems: ‘Let’s not eat our own’ in 2020 Newsom endorses Kamala Harris for president 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: Trump declares border emergency | .6B in military construction funds to be used for wall | Trump believes Obama would have started war with North Korea | Pentagon delivers aid for Venezuelan migrants Papering over climate change impacts is indefensible Why Democrats are pushing for a new nuclear policy 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“Our current nuclear strategy is not just outdated—it is dangerous,” Smith and Warren said in a joint statement Wednesday.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 TrumpGillibrand backs federal classification of third gender: report Former Carter pollster, Bannon ally Patrick Caddell dies at 68 Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job 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. LieuKamala Harris shopping trip stirs Twitter campaign trail debate Newsom endorses Kamala Harris for president Hispanic civil rights icon endorses Harris for president MORE (D-Calif.) and Sen. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyGreen New Deal Resolution invites big picture governing We can have a Green New Deal, and air travel too 2020 Dem slams Green New Deal: As realistic as Trump's claim that Mexico will pay for wall MORE (D-Mass.) would require congressional approval for Trump to launch a nuclear first strike.