One anti-Trump Republican Senator is trying his best to chip away at the President’s military authority.
Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) said he would be holding a hearing next week to evaluate whether or not the President has the right to utilize nuclear weapons at his discretion, according to The Washington Times. Not only does this question the President’s military authority, but it would effectively determine whether President Trump would still be Commander-in-Chief.
Sen. Corker, who is the current chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said that members of both parties need to question what powers the President of the United States has with regard to the use of nuclear weapons, adding that it’s been more than four decades since Congress visited the issue.
“This discussion is long overdue, and we look forward to examining this critical issue,” he said in a statement announcing the hearing, which will begin Tuesday. Witnesses will include former commander of US Strategic Command, a former Defense Department Under Secretary, as well as a Duke University professor of political science.
Sen. Corker has previously expressed concerns over some of President Trump’s language, especially in relation to his comments regarding North Korea. “He concerns me,” said Mr. Corker, suggesting that the President was treating his office like “a reality show.” Criticizing what he felt to be reckless threats that could risk “World War III,” he added that Mr. Trump “would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation,” according to The New York Times.
Mr. Corker also tweeted that “It’s a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning,” in response President Trump who claimed Corker “begged” for his endorsement.
Senator Corker is one of the most vocal anti-Trump Republicans in the GOP. As reported by The Hill, Sen. Corker announced the hearing on Nov. 14th. “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,” he said in a statement.
“This continues a series of hearings to examine these issues and will be the first time since 1976 that this committee or our House counterparts have looked specifically at the authority and process for using US nuclear weapons,” he continued. “This discussion is long overdue, and we look forward to examining this critical issue.”
Sen. Corker’s efforts have many supporters among Democrats in Washington, DC. Both Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), and Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), introduced bills this year that would curtail President Trump from launching a pre-emptive nuclear attack before Congress approves a Declaration of War. Although these laws have stalled in the Republican-controlled House and Senate, many in the GOP feel sympathetic to these motions.
Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK), a member of the Armed Services Committee, said that “pre-emptive war” on the Korean peninsula “would require the authorization of Congress.”
Sen. Corker wants President Trump’s powers as Commander-In-Chief to be questioned and limited. Do you agree with his assessment?
The President previously warned North Korean leader Kim Jong-un that the US is willing to employ “military solutions” to bring “fire and fury” against the nation if it is forced to defend itself or its allies.
This move by Mr. Corker will likely meet opposition from both Trump-supporting Americans as well as ardent constitutionalists, who believe that the Founding Fathers insisted on the President being the Commander-in-Chief for a good reason.