Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today introduced the Nuclear Weapons Abolition and Economic and Energy Conversion Act of 2013, to require the United States to negotiate an international agreement to disable and dismantle its nuclear weapons by 2020 and to redirect the funds to human and infrastructure needs, such as housing, health care, Social Security and the environment. The bill, which also requires ecologically beneficial activities, including the control of fissile material and nuclear waste and conversion to nuclear-free energy power, would take effect when the President certifies to Congress that all countries possessing nuclear weapons have eliminated them. The Congresswoman has introduced a version of the bill since 1994, after working with the residents who were responsible for the nuclear disarmament ballot initiative passed by D.C. voters in 1993.
Norton said in her introduction statement, "The bill is particularly timely as Congress continues to make cuts to important human and infrastructure programs and as the world confronts concerns about nuclear proliferation to Iran and North Korea."
In introducing the bill, Norton recognized the Alliance of Nuclear Accountability's DC Days 2013, which began on Monday, and the memory of William Thomas, who died in 2009, after holding his anti-nuclear vigil for nearly 28 years, the longest uninterrupted anti-war protest in front of the White House. Norton also praised the President for overcoming Senate resistance to ratify the New Start Treaty in 2011.