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Rhode Island congressman: The House should return to debate nuclear strike legislation

Rep. David Cicilline urged Speaker Paul Ryan on Friday to call back the House from its August recess in order to debate legislation that would require congressional approval for a U.S. pre-emptive strike.

The measure, introduced back in January, “will provide an opportunity to reduce tensions and prevent a catastrophic nuclear confrontation,” the Rhode Island Democrat wrote in a lettersent Friday to Ryan. The House left for its August break at the end of July and isn’t scheduled to return until the first week of September.

The bill in question, the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act, would require the president to seek approval from Congress for a first-use nuclear strike. It would also maintain the president’s ability to retaliate for a nuclear strike.

Introduced by Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., the legislation has 39 Democratic co-sponsors and 1 Republican co-sponsor.

“It is critical that the Trump administration exhaust all diplomatic options before resorting to military force,” Cicilline wrote. “Instead, President Trump has made a dangerous situation even worse by recklessly asserting that the United States is ‘locked and loaded’ to bring ‘fire and fury’ to North Korea.”

The letter was sent hours after President Trump declared on Twitter that “military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely.”

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