Previous US administrations were reluctant to adopt legislation that would legally bind Washington to only use its nuclear weapons in response to a nuclear attack. The new bill is likely to meet opposition as well.
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA) have presented legislation called “The No First Use Act,” which aims to prevent the US from using its nuclear arsenal first in case of an armed conflict.
Previous US administrations have been unwilling to accept such legislation, and Defense News speculates that the current Republican-controlled Senate is also unlikely to accept it. However, Smith, being the Armed Services Committee chair, might use his position to elevate the language into the annual defense policy bill, the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act; doing so might spark resistance from key Republicans, who have been supportive of Trump’s current nuclear stance, Defense News says.