November 15, 2021
Speaker Nancy Pelosi
United States House of Representatives
1236 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer
United States Senate
322 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Senate Majority Leader Schumer and Speaker of the House Pelosi:
We urge that both chambers of Congress take up the Markey-Lieu Bill Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2021 and the Warren-Smith Bill establishing a national policy, the No First Use Act.
Peace groups from across the country are urging that our country recognize the unconstitutionality and immorality of presidential first use. We call on the nation to institute a policy of No First Use and No Sole Authority in order to reduce the grave peril posed by our nuclear architecture.
Speaker Pelosi and Senator Schumer, please notice that it is not only peace activists who are crying out for action. Those who have occupied high offices within the government (participants in the formation of nuclear policy) have now urged Americans to wake up to the extremity of the nuclear peril. Former Secretary of Defense William Perry sees the threat of nuclear war as higher than it was during the Cold War. Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was this past summer quoted in the Guardian as saying that developments in AI and other technologies have made the danger of nuclear war more acute than ever before. The former commander of our nuclear triad – General Lee Butler – has said that dismantling nuclear weapons is the act by which our species must be judged.
All three of these people have actively worked to diminish the peril. William Perry created the William Perry Project. Henry Kissinger's co-authored call for "a world free of nuclear weapons" is widely said to have influenced the creation of Global Zero. General Lee Butler created Second Chance. Speaker Pelosi and Senator Schumer, when will Congress act to diminish the peril?
We urge Congress to reduce the danger of nuclear conflict by bringing the Markey-Lieu Bill (S1148, HR 669) and the Warren-Smith Bill (S1219, HR 2603) to the floor of both chambers of Congress, and to work to ensure that this legislation passes so that we can begin to move onto a safer path.
With shared hope for a safer world,