Text: H.R.669 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (01/17/2019)

[Congressional Bills 116th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 669 Introduced in House (IH)]


  1st Session
                                H. R. 669

    To prohibit the conduct of a first-use nuclear strike absent a 
                    declaration of war by Congress.



                            January 17, 2019

Mr. Ted Lieu of California (for himself, Ms. Schakowsky, Mr. Beyer, Ms. 
Pingree, Ms. Clarke of New York, Mr. Panetta, Ms. Eshoo, Mr. McGovern, 
Mr. Cohen, Mr. Nadler, Mr. DeFazio, Mr. Grijalva, Mr. Rush, Ms. Lee of 
   California, Mr. Espaillat, Ms. Bonamici, Mrs. Watson Coleman, Mr. 
     Brendan F. Boyle of Pennsylvania, Mr. Khanna, Ms. Speier, Ms. 
 Velazquez, Ms. McCollum, Ms. Clark of Massachusetts, Ms. Porter, Ms. 
  Judy Chu of California, Mr. Garamendi, Ms. Jayapal, Mr. Jones, Ms. 
   DeLauro, Ms. Gabbard, Mr. Blumenauer, Mr. Johnson of Georgia, Ms. 
   Norton, Mr. Sherman, Mr. Payne, Mrs. Napolitano, Ms. Lofgren, Mr. 
    Pocan, Mr. Welch, Mr. Crist, Mr. Carbajal, Mr. Serrano, and Mr. 
  Courtney) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the 
                      Committee on Foreign Affairs


                                 A BILL

    To prohibit the conduct of a first-use nuclear strike absent a 
                    declaration of war by Congress.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the ``Restricting First Use of Nuclear 
Weapons Act of 2019''.


    (a) Findings.--Congress finds the following:
            (1) The Constitution gives Congress the sole power to 
        declare war.
            (2) The framers of the Constitution understood that the 
        monumental decision to go to war, which can result in massive 
        death and the destruction of civilized society, must be made by 
        the representatives of the people and not by a single person.
            (3) As stated by section 2(c) of the War Powers Resolution 
        (Public Law 93-148; 50 U.S.C. 1541), ``the constitutional 
        powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce 
        United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations 
        where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated 
        by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to (1) a 
        declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization, or 
        (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United 
        States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces''.
            (4) Nuclear weapons are uniquely powerful weapons that have 
        the capability to instantly kill millions of people, create 
        long-term health and environmental consequences throughout the 
        world, directly undermine global peace, and put the United 
        States at existential risk from retaliatory nuclear strikes.
            (5) By any definition of war, a first-use nuclear strike 
        from the United States would constitute a major act of war.
            (6) A first-use nuclear strike conducted absent a 
        declaration of war by Congress would violate the Constitution.
    (b) Declaration of Policy.--It is the policy of the United States 
that no first-use nuclear strike should be conducted absent a 
declaration of war by Congress.


    (a) Prohibition.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the 
President may not use the Armed Forces of the United States to conduct 
a first-use nuclear strike unless such strike is conducted pursuant to 
a declaration of war by Congress that expressly authorizes such strike.
    (b) First-Use Nuclear Strike Defined.--In this section, the term 
``first-use nuclear strike'' means an attack using nuclear weapons 
against an enemy that is conducted without the President determining 
that the enemy has first launched a nuclear strike against the United 
States or an ally of the United States.

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