Dear Congressman Garamendi:
The Davis Democratic Club commends you for sponsoring HR 669, along with Congressman Ted Lieu and 49 other Members of Congress. This important measure would require a Congressional declaration of war that specifically authorizes the first use of nuclear weapons before a first use. Requiring Congressional debate and affirmative vote for the use of nuclear weapons, in place of unilateral determination by the President, is a significant step back from the nuclear brink. It represents a restoration of the constitutional balance in war making which requires Congress to declare war and then authorizes the Commander in Chief to wage war. As your legislation recognizes, nuclear weapons are the ultimate weapons of mass destruction because they kill on a large scale without distinction among combatants, noncombatants and innocent civilians; they create long-term health and environmental damage throughout the world; and they put the US at existential risk of annihilation.
Aggressive rhetoric among the heads of state of nuclear-armed powers including the US has focused the attention of the nation on the dangers of unilateral action performed without public debate or discussion among elected representatives. Your measure is therefore extremely timely and responsive. The United States is the only nuclear- armed nation that has ever used without warning nuclear weapons in an urban setting. Your measure represents a historic rebalancing of the constitutional war power and is therefore of historic significance.
The Davis Democratic Club endorses the legislation and proposes in the next few months to conduct an educational program, in cooperation with other organizations in the political and faith communities, to highlight the importance of your measure in the context of our times. We invite your cooperation and participation in this educational endeavor. Thank you for sponsoring this measure and for contributing to the national conversation on this most important topic.
Stephen Souza, President Davis Democratic Club on behalf of Executive Board