Democrats are worried President Donald Trump is putting his finger a little too close to the nuclear button and they are looking to require congressional approval before he can call for nuclear or conventional attacks.
As Trump’s conflict with North Korean leader Kim Jon Un escalates, three Democratic senators have become so concerned that the war of words could turn into an actual war that they have announced a bill that would Trump from striking North Korea without first earning congressional approval.
Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy took the charge on the bill, announcing it in a series of tweets on Wednesday.
“Trump’s North Korea threats are real. I will intro bill w @brianschatz & @CoryBooker to prohibit any preemptive action w/o vote by Congress,” Murphy tweeted. “My bill… makes clear that any unauthorized preemptive strike on N Korea – nuclear or conventional – is illegal.”
Similar legislation was introduced in the House in January that aims to limit the president’s ability to launch a first strike without a declaration of war from Congress.
Tensions between Pyongyang and Washington have been on the rise since Trump took office. In September Trump threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea and mocked its leader, Kim, calling him “rocket man” on Twitter. Earlier this month North Korea’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations warned the U.N. General Assembly’s disarmament committee that a nuclear war “may break out at any moment.”
While threats of nuclear war are relatively common by the rogue east-Asian nation, the ramped up rhetoric out of Washington has been compounding matters.
“Mistake by Trump could kill hundreds of thousands on Korean Peninsula. My bill w @brianschatz @CoryBooker will clarify Trump’s war powers,” Murphy said on Twitter.
Murphy even included a call to Republican senators who have denounced Trump in recent days.
“For all the Republicans breaking w Trump, here is your chance to actually constrain his most dangerous power – to make war,” Murphy tweeted.