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 WarrenGabbard hits DNC over poll criteria for debates The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch Keystone XL Pipeline gets nod from Nebraska Supreme Court 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 SmithWarren's pledge to avoid first nuclear strike sparks intense pushback Landmark US-Russia arms control treaty poised for final blow Young Democrats look to replicate Ocasio-Cortez's primary path 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“Our current nuclear strategy is not just outdated—it is dangerous,” Smith and Warren said in a joint statement Wednesday.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.”

ADVERTISEMENT

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 TrumpThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch To ward off recession, Trump should keep his mouth and smartphone shut Trump: 'Who is our bigger enemy,' Fed chief or Chinese leader? 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. LieuLawmakers urge DNC to name Asian American debate moderator Cities are the future: We need to coordinate their international diplomacy George Conway opposes #unfollowTrump movement MORE (D-Calif.) and Sen. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyMoulton drops out of presidential race after struggling to gain traction Joseph Kennedy mulling primary challenge to Markey in Massachusetts Overnight Energy: Trump sparks new fight over endangered species protections | States sue over repeal of Obama power plant rules | Interior changes rules for ethics watchdogs MORE (D-Mass.) would require congressional approval for Trump to launch a nuclear first strike.