House and Senate lawmakers have reintroduced a bill that would require President Trump to seek congressional approval before launching a nuclear first strike. Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif, unveiled the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2019 during a recent press conference with nuclear arms control leaders, Markey’s office said Tuesday.
Lieu said the legislation would give Congress “the constitutional duty to decide when a nuclear first strike is warranted.” The move comes as a result of President Trump’s “unpredictable and rash” actions, he noted. “As we’re now coming to realize, we could be one tweet that insults the president away from catastrophe,” Lieu said. Markey described any U.S. president’s power to launch a first strike as “immoral” and “disproportionate.”
Advocates and organizations have expressed support for the Markey-Lieu bill, including the Union of Concerned Scientists Washington, the Arms Control Association and the Federation of American Scientists.