House GOP: Biden must explain push to reduce role of nuclear weapons

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 29: Ranking Member Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) speaks during a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Ending the U.S. Military Mission in Afghanistan in the Rayburn House Office Building at the U.S. Capitol on September 29, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rod Lamkey-Pool/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – SEPTEMBER 29: Ranking Member Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) speaks during a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Ending the U.S. Military Mission in Afghanistan in the Rayburn House Office Building at the U.S. Capitol on September 29, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Rod Lamkey-Pool/Getty Images)

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UPDATED 3:37 PM PT – Monday, November 8, 2021

Republican lawmakers are demanding answers from the Biden administration about its proposed changes to America’s use of nuclear weapons.

On Monday, top House Republicans highlighted the concerns by U.S. allies over Joe Biden’s proposal to limit the conditions under which America would consider a nuclear strike. Congressmen Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) sent a letter to both state and defense secretaries requesting clarifications on the matter.

This comes after the State Department said it’s seeking to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. national security strategy. However, Republicans worry such a policy shift would give another strategic advantage to China.

Concerns among lawmakers began to surface when Biden suggested he may support a “no first-use” policy back in 2017, saying “given our non-nuclear capabilities and the nature of today’s threats, it’s hard to envision a plausible scenario in which the first use of nuclear weapons by the United States would be necessary. Or make sense.”

Meanwhile, the State Department’s latest statement highlighted “taking steps to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in the U.S. national security strategy, while ensuring the U.S. strategic deterrent remains safe, secure and effective, and that U.S. extended deterrence commitments to U.S. allies remain strong and credible.”

The Pentagon has not yet responded to the letter brought forth by McCaul and Rogers.

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