LEGISLATION

Listed below is current legislation related to reducing and eliminating the threat of nuclear war and including communities impacted by nuclear weapons testing in radiation exposure compensation programs and Medicaid. Click the links to the bills to see if your representatives are listed as co-sponsors – if not, please contact them and ask for their support. If you aren’t sure who your representatives are, click here for a GovTrack resource that can help.

Tell Congress: Enact Nuclear Safeguards While Working Toward International Disarmament  
Res. 302 is a Back from the Brink resolution in the House of Representatives that encompasses all five of our recommended policy solutions, and encourages the U.S. to support the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. In order to build political support for all of these crucial policies, we need to persuade our elected officials to look at the totality of our nuclear programs, and to reimagine and redefine what national security means at this pivotal moment in history.  Please encourage your members of Congress to support this resolution.

Tell Congress: End Presidential Sole Authority
The power to destroy all of humanity should never rest in the hands of one person, especially not in a democratic society. This remains true regardless of political affiliation or how steady or temperamental those hands are. The president currently has the authority to launch any number of nuclear weapons in the U.S. arsenal with no one having the authority to challenge that decision. As a temporary safeguard while we work towards international nuclear abolition, we must maintain Congress’ constitutional authority to declare war, including a nuclear strike. Tell your representatives to support HR 669 and S 200

Tell Congress: Do Not Resume Nuclear Testing 
The Trump administration is considering resuming nuclear testing, despite the fact that victims of previous nuclear tests have not been compensated for their trauma and losses. Testing new weapons signals hostility to the rest of the world, and will likely result in other countries following suit with tests of their own. We cannot afford another global arms race. Both the House and Senate have introduced legislation to prohibit nuclear weapons tests without congressional approval.  Tell your representatives to support S 3886 and the No Nuclear Testing Without Approval Act.

Tell Congress: Extend New START Treaty
The last bilateral arms control agreement between the U.S. and Russia is about to expire. We cannot lose the progress that has been made over the last few decades in terms of constraining these weapons of mass destruction. Tell Congress to extend New START and build the global trust that we will need to finally abolish nuclear weapons. Request your representatives’ support on HR 2529 and S 2394.

Tell Congress: No First Use
The United States should make it policy to never start a nuclear war. That’s the philosophy behind the No First Use Act. The bill has one sentence of text: “It is the policy of the United States to not use nuclear weapons first.” This simple statement signals to our allies and our adversaries that the U.S. considers these weapons to be of last-resort, and sets the stage for meaningful dialogue about how our collective security would be improved if nuclear abolition were to succeed. It also significantly reduces the chance of a miscommunication or technological error, making an accidental launch much less likely. Ask your representatives to support HR 921 and S 272.

Tell Congress: Radiation Exposure Victims Deserve Compensation
In order to maintain the secrecy of numerous nuclear weapons projects over the last 75 years, many communities were neither informed nor protected from the harm caused by nuclear weapons development and testing. The ionizing radiation from these sites continues to plague communities across the country, many of whom have still not been compensated to this day. We cannot achieve justice until we recognize the harm that we have done. Tell your representatives to renew and strengthen the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act and work toward full cleanups of these sites. Contact your representatives and ask them to support HR 3783 and S 947.

Tell Congress: Restore Medicaid to Citizens from the Marshall Islands and Other Compact of Free Association (COFA) States
Some of the largest nuclear tests ever conducted occurred in the Marshall Islands from 1946-1958, forcing people to flee their homes before, during, and after testing. Until 1996, residents of the Marshall Islands and other states in the Compact of Free Association were covered under Medicaid, when their access was stripped. Congress must act to restore access to those who have been disproportionately affected by U.S. nuclear weapons testing. Urge your representatives to support HR 4821 and S 2218.

People expect Congress to focus on those threats most likely to harm them — not waste their money on expensive weapons designed for the wars of yesterday while the most potent threats to Americans struggle to attract funding. Redundant nuclear weapons, off-books spending accounts, and endless wars in the Middle East don’t keep us safe.

U.S. Representative Barbara Lee

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