By Bob Katzen

Calls on Congress to approve legislation that would make it the policy of the United States not to start a nuclear war and not to use nuclear weapons first.

The resolutions note that the president of the U.S. has sole authority to order a nuclear attack without any consultation or input and that a policy renouncing the first use of nuclear weapons would severely constrain the ability of the president to order a nuclear attack, allowing only attacks in response to a nuclear attack.

Another provision says that an estimated 14,000 nuclear weapons still exist in the world and pose an intolerable risk to humanity. The resolutions also state that the United States maintains nearly 1,000 nuclear weapons on high alert, so they are ready for launch within minutes of a presidential decision to do so, making them vulnerable to accidents, unauthorized use, cyberattacks and miscalculations, and increasing the risk of nuclear war.

“I filed the bill to call on the Massachusetts Congressional delegation to support No First Use legislation,” said the sponsor Rep. Natalie Higgins (D-Leominster). “While I am disappointed that the legislation was sent to a study, I do plan to refile the legislation and continue to bring attention to this matter and build a stronger coalition in the next session.”

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