Tell Your Member of Congress to Support the No First Use Act

Nuclear weapons have posed the greatest threat to humanity’s continued existence since they were first invented in the 20th century. Even decades after the conclusion of the Cold War, the United States controls almost half of all of the nuclear weapons in the world, and is planning to spend $1 trillion to rebuild nearly all of these weapons and the delivery systems necessary to use them.

Terrifyingly, nothing stands between Donald Trump and the use of our nuclear arsenal. At the same time, Trump’s unstable behavior has cast into sharp relief the gaps in our policies surrounding the use of nuclear weapons. 60% of Americans in a 2018 poll said that they do not trust Trump to handle his authority to order nuclear attacks on other countries responsibly.

Luckily, some in Congress are confronting the danger this poses to our national security, and the security of the world more broadly. Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) have introduced the No First Use Act (H.R. 921 / S. 272) to establish, unequivocally, that “it is the policy of the United States to not use nuclear weapons first.” Tell your MoC to co-sponsor the No First Use Act to take Trump’s finger off the nuclear button!

Why does our nuclear weapon policy need to change?

Nuclear weapons are unique in their destructive power. The US has hundreds of nuclear-tipped missiles on hair-trigger alert, meaning they can be launched at any moment on the order of the president—and we have thousands more in storage. That’s enough ordinance to kill millions of people in minutes, to say nothing on the lasting impact these attacks would have on the health of those who lived and the environment.

It should be clear, then, that using nuclear weapons should not be a decision that the president can take without any checks on their authority. Trump poses a serious threat to the world because of his erratic decision-making, but the ease with which the president can launch a nuclear attack poses a serious risk to global security no matter who occupies the Oval Office. It’s long past time for Congress to put checks on the president’s ability to use nuclear weapons.

What would the No First Use Act do?

The No First Use Act (H.R. 921 in the House, S. 272 in the Senate) would put a simple but critical check on the use of nuclear weapons by establishing that “it is the policy of the United States to not use nuclear weapons first.”

The need for this change should be particularly clear after Trump’s threats against North Korea in late 2017 and early 2018 brought us to the brink of nuclear war. Retaining the ability to use nuclear weapons first only raises the risk that a confrontation will escalate to the nuclear level, and given that we spend far more on our military than any other country in the world it should be clear that we have nothing to gain from introducing nuclear weapons into armed conflict.

We must check Trump’s authority to use nuclear weapons first. Call your MoC today and tell them: co-sponsor the No First Use Act!

Call Script

Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent calling from [PART OF STATE]. I’m calling today to urge [MoC] to co-sponsor [H.R. 921 / S. 272], the No First Use Act.

The No First Use Act would put a simple but critical check on the use of nuclear weapons by the president by establishing that “it is the policy of the United States to not use nuclear weapons first.” While Donald Trump highlights the dangers of Congress ceding this power to the president, it should be clear that no matter who the president is Congress should have a role in deciding when we can use our nuclear arsenal.

It’s long past time for Congress to put checks on the president’s ability to use nuclear weapons. Retaining the ability to use nuclear weapons first only raises the risk that a confrontation will escalate to the nuclear level, and the consequences of this would be catastrophic.

Will [MoC] commit to co-sponsoring the No First Use Act?

I will be watching [MoC’s] statements and actions on this bill to see what they decide to do.