Take Action in 20 Minutes: Make U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy Abide by the Constitution

2020Action.org aims to empower people to take action on environmental issues in just 20 minutes a month. It’s monthly action ‘cards’ help people get informed on important issues and present the resources to take quick political action. GN will publish these monthly ‘cards’ in 2017.

Make U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy Abide by the Constitution 

1. Read the background information

Under the U.S. Constitution, the power to decide whether to start a war rests entirely with the Congress. Period. However, current nuclear policy gives all power to decide whether to use nuclear weapons to the President. Even a first-use decision—a decision in effect to start a nuclear war—is placed entirely in the hands of a single person, the President. No one can overturn the President’s decision no matter how catastrophic it may be!

This is clearly unconstitutional, dangerous—no matter who is President—and should have been changed long ago. But this seemingly theoretical issue has become intensely practical, threatening all of civilization. The elevation of Donald Trump to the Presidency, along with the fact that his world view is informed by “alternative facts”, creates a situation that is unprecedented in U.S. history. Congress must act immediately.

US Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and US Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) have introduced Bills S.200 and H.R. 669, respectively, to explicitly affirm Congress’s sole power to decide whether to start a nuclear war. The joint bills, introduced on 1/24/17, are titled: “A Bill to Prohibit the Conduct of a First-Use Nuclear Strike Absent a Declaration of War by Congress.”

2. Contact your US Senators and Representative immediately. Your own words make a difference in the impact of messages received.

Urge them to co-sponsor these critical bills. Find their names and links to their websites at:

Web:
www.senate.govwww.house.gov; send an email or leave a message via ‘Contact’ on his/her website

Tel:
202 224-3121 (Capitol switchboard-ask for his/her office & leave a message)

Mail:
Senator or Representative (first & last name)
U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C. 20510
U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C. 20515