Reading Room

Call Now to Keep President Trump’s Finger Off the Nuclear Launch “Button”

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) have introduced legislation to prevent a US President from launching nuclear war at will. As it now stands, President Donald Trump could initiate a nuclear first strike at any time, against any place, for any reason and with no checks or balances on that power.

On January 24, Senator Ed Markey introduced the “Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017” in the US Senate (S. 200) and Congressman Ted Lieu introduced the same legislation in the US House of Representatives (H.R. 669).

These two bills, if passed, would prohibit President Trump, or any future US President, from launching a nuclear first strike without a declaration of war by Congress.

In the opening days of his presidency, Donald Trump has exhibited volatile, obsessive, narcissistic and thin-skinned behaviors. On Inauguration Day, he was given the nuclear codes and absolute authority to control more than 4,000 nuclear weapons.

No single person – and certainly not Trump - should have the unrestrained power to start a nuclear conflagration that could end life as-we-know-it on the planet. Your call now could help change that.

Please contact your Representative and Senators and ask them to co-sponsor this bill. Again, the bill numbers are S. 200 in the Senate and H.R. 669 in the House of Representatives.

Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

Note: In California, your Senators are Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris. In the 15th District, which includes Livermore, your Rep. is Eric Swalwell. In the 10th District, which includes Tracy, your Rep. is Jeff Denham.

Calling is fast and effective. However, you can also go on-line to send electronic messages to your Senators and Representative.

At Tri-Valley CAREs, we are working for the global elimination of nuclear weapons and their dangers, and we see this bill both as a common sense measure and as an important step in the right direction.

Here is a sample script for your Senate phone call:

“Hello my name is xxxxx. I am a constituent (you may want to give your zip code here). I am asking Senator yyyyy to co-sponsor the “Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017.” The bill is number S. 200, and it was introduced by Senator Ed Markey. Its purpose is to prevent a US President from launching a nuclear first strike without a declaration of war by Congress. This is a basic issue of Constitutional checks and balances on Executive powers, and I recommend that Senator yyyyy co-sponsor it. I would also like to be kept informed of my Senator’s action on the bill.”

When calling your Rep., simply change the language above to reflect that it was introduced by Rep. Ted Lieu of CA, and that the number for the bill is H.R. 669.

And, don’t forget to thank the hardworking staff person to whom you speak.

Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

If you send email, or have a longer conversation with the staff person, you might note that former Secretary of Defense, William J. Perry supports this legislation. Perry said, "During my period as Secretary of Defense, 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."

Click here for the text of the House version of the bill.