In new letter, 16 Senators urge President Trump to reconsider efforts that would undermine decades of U.S. nonproliferation leadership by building new nuclear weapons, lowering threshold for use


Washington (January 29, 2018) – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) today led a dozen of their Senate colleagues in calling on President Donald Trump to reconsider policies outlined in a leaked draft of its Nuclear Posture Review that would lead to the development of new nuclear weapons and reintroduction of Cold War-era weapons systems that would be unnecessary and destabilizing. In a letter sent today, the Senators write that taking these steps would increase America’s nuclear warfighting capability and raise the chances of a miscalculation that could lead to a nuclear exchange. The Senators also expressed concern that the new weapons and missions would require additional funding beyond the $1.7 trillion the Congressional Budget Office estimates it would cost to modernize existing U.S. nuclear forces.


“The sole purpose of our nuclear arsenal should be to deter nuclear attack against the United States, our allies and partners,” write the Senators in the letter. “However, the reported policies outlined in your forthcoming Nuclear Posture Review increase the risk of a nuclear arms race and raise the real possibility of nuclear conflict. As the world’s greatest nuclear power and the only nation that has ever used nuclear weapons in combat, we have a unique responsibility to continue to lead the international community towards eventual nuclear disarmament.”


A copy of the letter to President Trump can be found HERE.


Other senators signing the letter include Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.).