18 organizations of the US peace movement started to collect signatures under the appeal to the members of the US Congress, to support the law amendment introduced by Rep. Ted Lieu and Sen. Ed Markey to change the launch procedures for nuclear weapons in order to prohibit the president of the USA from unilaterally ordering a nuclear first strike without a US Congress decision. By 15 April 2017 the petitition received 188,087 signatures:
To all U.S. Senators and Representatives:
We call on you to take action to ensure that no president can unilaterally launch a nuclear war.
U.S. nuclear launch procedures have been designed for speed, not for democratic decisions. The president (or his designee) is the only person who can order the use of nuclear weapons and there are no checks or balances on that authority. As President Richard Nixon observed in 1974, “I can go back into my office and pick up the telephone and in 25 minutes 70 million people will be dead.”
While it should be inconceivable that any American president would conduct a nuclear first strike, President Trump’s past statements and erratic behavior make it imperative that we put checks and balances on nuclear launch authority. Only Congress can declare war, and that authority should apply to a nuclear first strike as well. Please co-sponsor H.R. 669/S. 200 to make America and the world safer by prohibiting the president from unilaterally starting a nuclear war.
The initiators of the petition are:
American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) / Arms Control Association / Council for a Livable World / CREDO / Daily Kos / Global Zero / Just Foreign Policy / Peace Action / Ploughshares Fund / Progressive Congress Action Fund / Public Citizen / RootsAction.org / Union of Concerned Scientists / United for Peace and Justice / Watchdog.net / Win Without War / Women’s Action for New Directions.