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The Nuclear Sanity Act, HB 6535
01/04/2017 Congress Seth L
keywords: Nuclear Retaliation Legislation

Outgoing Rep. Alan Grayson (D - Florida) has sponsored a bill to capitalize on voters' (and possibly Congress') fears of President-elect Donald Trump's hands on the "nuclear football" which contains launch codes for the country's atomic weapons.

Grayson's bill, HB 6535, dubbed The Nuclear Sanity Act, would require written approval from both the Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense for a U.S. president to launch a nuclear attack. Two exceptions would be made: for either a retaliatory defense for such an attack on the United States or its territories or if either secretary could not be reached by the president for 24 hours.

The bill further states that if the president tries to proceed with proactively launching an attack, it would be considered a terrorist action, and he or she would be charged with a crime. The military would be under orders to ignore the president's launch commands.

Recent tweets from Trump apparently irked Congressman Grayson enough that he wanted to file the legislation before leaving Congress, although, from the press release regarding his bill, it's hard to know how serious he is. "What part of the phrase ‘mutual-assured destruction’ does Trump not get?" the Congressman asked rhetorically. "In theory, if President Trump wakes up angry at Rosie O’Donnell one morning, [he] could nuke Ireland."

Recently, Trump had tweeted about wanting to boost the United States' nuclear capabilities. "The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes," Trump broadcast.

Trump also recently tweeted a response to North Korea, which announced it will be finalizing the development of a missile which theoretically could deliver a nuclear warhead to the West Coast of the United States. The missile, the KN-08 — sometimes referred to as the Hwasong-13 — has been seen at public military parades in recent years.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un vowed that the Asian nation would attempt to test-fire such a missile this year. "It won't happen!" Trump assuredly tweeted. How Trump intends to stop the Hermit Kingdom's missile development program is less than clear.

"We need to place someone or something between Donald Trump’s impulses and Armageddon. When it comes to demonstrating Trump’s recklessness, we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud," declared Rep. Grayson, semi-approximating former President George W. Bush's famous line about fabled Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. "If any finger rests on the nuclear button, it shouldn’t be Trump’s extended middle one."

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