A new bill making its way through the Senate, co-sponsored by seven Democrats and independent Sen. Bernie Sanders (I – VT), aims to prevent President Trump following through on his threat to “totally destroy” North Korea by explicitly forbidding a US attack.
The bill would forbid any preemptive nuclear strikes on North Korea, or spending any money on any military strike against North Korea, without prior Congressional authorization. It would not apply if North Korea attacks first.
Legally speaking, presidents are already intended to not be able to just start wars on a whim in the first place, but recent presidents have played so fast and loose with advanced authorization that many in Congress believe they need to explicitly preclude the attack on North Korea beforehand, instead of trying to clean up the mess if an illegal nuclear war is launched.
Aggressive nuclear wars aren’t likely to be super popular, which would be an advantage for the bill, assuming it ever comes up for a vote. So far, the Senate leadership has shown no inclination to let that happen.