Give (the nuclear code) to whom? Republican lawmaker: Biden should not give up the president’s nuclear launch authority

Three Republican members of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee said Biden should not give up his sole nuclear launch authority (sole nuclear authority), after dozens of Democrats said that the president’s exclusive power should be changed.

“The dangerous effort by Democrats to propose a restructuring of our nuclear command and control program would undermine the security of the United States as well as our allies.” Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Ariz.), Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and Mike Turner (R-Ohio) said.

They added that the Democrats’ “proposal, if passed, would put Americans at a disadvantage, upset the nuclear balance and shake the confidence of our allies in the nuclear umbrella.

They further said such a change in President Biden’s power would please Communist Party leader Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“The ability to act in the event of an attack is essential to deter our adversaries from making a preemptive strike. The United States should never adopt policies that would give our adversaries an advantage, or create bureaucratic obstacles.” The statement said.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) called the Democrats’ claims “strange,” adding that “the president is the commander in chief of the armed forces.”

“Who are they going to give (the nuclear codes) to?” Mike Lee asked in a “Fox News” interview, “A congressionally-run commission? Aside from being completely unconstitutional, that would be terrible policy. Remember what happened when you put a commission in charge of protecting the Capitol? It won’t end well this Time, either.”

Earlier this week, Democrats led by Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.) and Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) argued that giving nuclear launch authority to one person would pose a “real risk” to U.S. national security.

In the letter, they said, “Past presidents have threatened to attack other countries with nuclear weapons or have acted in ways that have caused other officials to express concern about the president’s judgment.” The letter was signed by about 30 Democratic lawmakers. The letter then proposes a series of changes to nuclear weapons launch procedures.

The letter said, “While any president would presumably consult with advisers before ordering a nuclear attack, there is no requirement to do so. If the military assesses that the order is legal under the laws of war, they are obligated to carry it out. At current U.S. nuclear forces, such an attack would occur within minutes.”

They suggested that more officials, including the vice president and the speaker of the House of Representatives, need to be allowed to agree to the president’s nuclear launch order.

They also suggested that “the secretary of defense would have to certify that the launch order is valid and the attorney general would have to certify that the launch order is legal.” And that would require a congressional declaration of war, or other specific authorization from Congress.

Typically, a military aide would follow the president, carrying a black briefcase known as a “nuclear soccer.” The president has the legal ability to order a nuclear attack using the U.S. arsenal, including intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), submarine-launched missiles or strategic bombers.