Senator Markey Welcomes Senate Hearing on Presidential Authority to Order the Use of Nuclear Weapons
Has introduced legislation to limit U.S. president’s ability to conduct a nuclear first strike without prior authorization from Congress
Washington (November 9, 2017) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement on the announcement of a hearing on Tuesday, November 14 before the full Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the Authority to Order the Use of Nuclear Weapons. Senator Markey has introduced the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act with Congressman Ted Lieu (CA-33) to limit any American president’s ability to conduct a nuclear first strike without prior authorization from Congress.
“I want to thank Chairman Corker and Ranking Member Cardin for holding this incredibly important hearing,” said Senator Markey. “I have long said that no human being, and certainly not President Trump, should be able to unilaterally launch nuclear weapons – the most destructive weapon ever invented by humankind – without provocation, without consultation, and without warning. Yet under existing laws, the President of the United States can do just that.
“Now more than ever, it is crucial that Congress provide a forum for an overdue discussion on how and when the United States decides to use its nuclear weapons. The ‘cooler heads’ and ‘strategic doctrine’ that once served as our last, best hope against the unthinkable seem less reassuring than ever. As the world faces the threat of a nuclear North Korea, it is time for Congress to act and reassert its constitutional role as the branch of government with the sole power to decide when the United States will be the first to use nuclear weapons. I look forward to discussing this crucial matter next week.”