New Bill Would Ban Trump From Nuking Hurricanes

Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks / Public Domain


President Trump reportedly asked national security officials to consider nuking hurricanes last year.

As hurricane season got underway this month, a Democratic congresswoman introduced legislation that would bar President Donald Trump — or any other president — from launching a nuclear weapon in an attempt to weaken or destroy hurricanes, according to The Washington Post.

Such a bill might seem superfluous, but Trump did in fact suggest using a nuclear bomb to deal with hurricanes, Axios reported last year — though Trump denied the report in a tweet.

  • Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX) introduced a bill on June 1 called the Climate Change and Hurricane Correlation and Strategy Act, which “explicitly prohibits the president, along with any other federal agency or official, from employing a nuclear bomb or other ‘strategic weapon with the goal of ‘altering weather patterns or addressing climate change.’”
  • Garcia told The Post that her bill was a direct response to Trump’s reported suggestion last year.

“When I heard our president suggest that we needed to launch a nuclear weapon to disrupt a hurricane, my first thought was that’s a really dumb idea,” Garcia said. “When we did the research, we found that others have thought of that idea before.”

  • According to the report, it does not appear that the legislation will make it out of committee any time soon, and the bill currently has no co-sponsors or hearing date.
  • Currently, there is “no domestic law or international treaty that would prohibit” Trump or another president from using nuclear weapons to try to take down a hurricane, according to Scott Sagan, a professor of political science at Stanford University.

“It would be a stupid thing to do, but it would not be an illegal thing to do,” Sagan said. He said test bans wouldn’t cover the actual use of a nuclear weapon against a perceived threat to the United States. In such circumstances, the president has sole authority to use nuclear weapons.

The Post noted that the 2020 hurricane season, which began on June 1, “is off to a roaring start, with Tropical Storm Cristobal, the earliest-recorded third-named storm of any season, striking Louisiana on Sunday.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration expects 14 to 19 named storms this season.

Read the full report.


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