In letter signed by ten senators, lawmakers call for bold action as president conducts comprehensive review of nuclear weapons policies


Washington (July 20, 2016) – In a letter to President Barack Obama, Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and eight senate colleagues called on the president to take bold action on U.S. nuclear weapons policy in the final months of his administration. Specifically, the senators urge the president to restrain U.S. nuclear weapons spending and reduce the risk of nuclear war, including by scaling back excessive nuclear modernization plans, adopting a policy of no-first-use of nuclear weapons, and canceling launch-on-warning plans. Independent estimates suggest that nuclear weapons sustainment and modernization plans could cost nearly one trillion dollars over the next 30 years. During President Obama’s recent visit to Hiroshima, Japan, he called on nations that possess nuclear weapons to “have the courage to escape the logic of fear and pursue a world without them.”


“Nuclear war poses the gravest risk to American national security,” write the Senators in the letter to President Obama. “The lesson of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is clear: nuclear weapons must never be used again. We must do everything we can to reduce the risk of nuclear war and preserve America’s security interests.”


A copy of the letter can be found HERE.


In the letter, the Senators specifically call on President Obama to take steps to cancel plans to spend at least $20 billion on a new nuclear air-launched cruise missile - the Long Range Standoff weapon, to adopt a policy of no-first-use of nuclear weapons, and to help prevent catastrophic mistake and false alarms by increasing the time available to the commander-in-chief to consider using nuclear weapons by canceling launch-on-warning plans.


Other senators signing the letter include Senators Al Franken (D-Minn.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).