The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold the “long overdue” discussion on the “executive’s authority to use nuclear weapons and the process for executing that authority,” on Nov. 14, Corker said.
It will be the first time since 1976 that the committee, which Corker currently chairs, or their counterparts in the House, “have looked specifically at the authority and process for using nuclear weapons,” his statement reads.
“A number of members both on and off our committee have raised questions about the authorities of the legislative and executive branches with respect to war making, the use of nuclear weapons, and conducting foreign policy overall,” Corker said.
The president’s use of aggressive rhetoric against North Korea has set off a debate in Congress over the White House’s authority regarding the use of nuclear weapons.
Trump warned North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un that the U.S. has “military solutions” “locked and loaded” and that the U.S. will bring “fire and fury” to “totally destroy” North Korea if it is forced to defend itself.
In January, Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., and Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., introduced legislation that would bar the president from launching a preemptive nuclear strike, and Democrats have been vocal about the issue after Trump’s recent comments on North Korea.
Earlier this month, Corker told NPR “I’ve had other members talk with me a little about it, and we’re doing some research on that topic,” referriing to legislation that would give Congress greater say over the president’s ability to launch a first nuclear strike.
Corker told The New York Times last month that he believed Trump was taking the country “on the path to World War III.”
“He concerns me. He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation,” Corker told the Times.