DearColleague.us

Letter

Ted Lieu

From the office of:

Ted Lieu


Sending Office: Honorable Ted Lieu
Sent By:
Corey.Jacobson@mail.house.gov

        Request for Cosponsor(s)

Be an Original Cosponsor of the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act

Cosponsors in 115th Congress (82): Barragan, Bass, Beatty, Beyer,  Blumenauer, Bonamici, Boyle, Capuano, Carbajal, Chu, Cicilline,  Clark, Clarke, Cohen, Conyers,  Courtney, Crist, Cummings, Davis, DeFazio,  DeSaulnier, Doggett,
Ellison, Eshoo, Espaillat, Evans, Gabbard,  Garamendi, Green, Grijalva, Gutierrez, Hanabusa,  Heck, Huffman, Jayapal, Jeffries, Johnson, Jones (NC), Kennedy, Khanna,  Kihuen, Kildee,  Larson, Lee, Lewis, Lofgren, Lowenthal, Maloney, McCollum, McGovern, McNerney,
Meng, Nadler, Napolitano, Nolan, Norton, Pallone, Panetta, Payne, Pingree, Pocan, Raskin, Roybal-Allard, Rush, Sarbanes, Schakowsky, Scott,  Serrano, Shea-Porter, Sherman, Slaughter, Soto, Speier,  Takano, Thompson, Tsongas, Velazquez,  Walz, Watson Coleman,
Welch, Wilson, and Yarmuth

Endorsements:
Former Secretary of Defense William Perry, New York Times Editorial BoardSacramento
Bee Editorial Board
, Global Zero, Ploughshares Fund, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Women’s Action for New Directions, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Arms Control Association, Win Without War

Dear Colleague,

Are you scared yet?

This week, the last adult of the Trump administration’s national security team, Secretary Jim Mattis, announced he was quitting.

The development caps off a year in which the
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
moved the time on its Doomsday Clock thirty seconds closer to midnight due to a “grim assessment” of the international landscape. We are now only two minutes away from “midnight” – or life-ending nuclear apocalypse. We
have not reached such a serious situation since 1953 when the former U.S.S.R. tested a hydrogen bomb. Citing the President’s inflammatory language towards North Korea, this was the first time the Bulletin has moved the time closer to midnight due to a single
person.

As you may remember, President Trump raised tensions with North Korea to new heights by responding to the nuclear regime’s provocations with threats of “fire and fury” without any input from his national security team. Our Commander-in-Chief, who holds the
power to launch a potentially civilization-ending strike without authorization from Congress, has previously demonstrated ignorance of the nuclear triad, stated his desire to be “unpredictable” with nuclear weapons, and as President-elect made sweeping statements
about U.S. nuclear policy over Twitter.

In the words of the New York Times: “Until Mr. Trump, no one could imagine the United States ever using a nuclear weapon again…But Mr. Trump has so shaken
this orthodoxy that Congress has begun debating limits on his unilateral authority to launch nuclear weapons.”

If you are equally troubled by this reality, I invite you to join Sen. Markey and me in re-introducing the
Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act, legislation that would prohibit the President from conducting a first-use nuclear weapon strike without a Congressional Declaration of War.

Our Constitution created a government based on checks and balances and gave the power to declare war solely to the people’s representatives. A nuclear first strike, which can kill hundreds of millions of people and invite a retaliatory strike that can cripple
America, is war. The Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act reasserts constitutional powers to restrict the circumstances under which the President could conduct a First Use nuclear strike in order to enhance global stability and reduce the risk of nuclear
miscalculation.

As former Secretary of Defense William Perry said:

“I never confronted a situation, or could even imagine a situation, in which I would recommend that the President make a first strike with nuclear weapons—understanding that such an action, whatever the provocation, would likely
bring about the end of civilization. I believe that the legislation proposed by Congressman Lieu and Senator Markey recognizes that terrible reality.  Certainly a decision that momentous for all of civilization should have the kind of checks and balances on
Executive powers called for by our Constitution.”

Please join Sen. Markey and me in this effort by being an original cosponsor of the reintroduction of the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act. Should you have any questions, please contact Corey Jacobson on my staff at
corey.jacobson@mail.house.gov or at 202-225-3976.

Sincerely,

Ted W. Lieu
Member of Congress

 

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Armed Services, Foreign Affairs

Related Bill Information

Bill Type: H.R.
Bill Type: XX
Special Note: In the 115th Congress, the bill number was H.R. 669

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