[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E511]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                         CONVERSION ACT OF 2019


                       HON. ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON

                      of the district of columbia

                    in the house of representatives

                        Tuesday, April 30, 2019

  Ms. NORTON. Madam Speaker, today, I am introducing the Nuclear 
Weapons Abolition and Economic and Energy Conversion Act of 2019, a 
version of which I have introduced since 1994, after working with the 
District of Columbia residents who were responsible for the Nuclear 
Disarmament and Economic Conversion ballot initiative, passed by D.C. 
voters in 1993. My bill still requires the United States to sign and 
ratify an international agreement to disable and dismantle America's 
nuclear weapons, to provide for strict control of fissile material and 
radioactive waste and to use nuclear-free energy. In lieu of joining 
such an agreement, this new version of the bill also gives the United 
States the option to ratify the United Nations Treaty on the 
Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (Treaty). Many nations have already 
signed onto the Treaty. The Treaty was drafted by the United Nations in 
conferences in March and July of 2017, which is why I did not include 
it in my previous bills. According to the United Nations, the Treaty is 
``a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading 
towards their total elimination.'' I am pleased by the international 
progress on this important issue.
  Our bill continues to provide that the funds used for nuclear weapons 
programs be redirected to human and infrastructure needs, such as 
housing, health care, Social Security, restoring the environment and 
creating carbon-free, nuclear-free energy. The conversion to a peace 
economy would occur when the President certifies to Congress that all 
countries possessing nuclear weapons have begun elimination under an 
international treaty or other legal agreement.
  The bill is particularly timely considering the ongoing nuclear 
threat from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
  Our country still has a long list of urgent domestic needs that have 
been put on the back-burner. As the only nation that has used nuclear 
weapons in war, and that still possesses one of the largest nuclear 
weapons arsenals, I urge support for my bill to help the United States 
reestablish its moral leadership in the world by redirecting funds that 
would otherwise go to nuclear weapons to urgent domestic needs.
  I strongly urge my colleagues to support this legislation.