Rep. Tulsi Gabbard's Press Conference Remarks: INF Treaty Compliance Act
February 15, 2019
“We face a greater risk of nuclear catastrophe than ever before in history. The threat of nuclear war is real. President Trump’s reckless decision to pull out of the INF Treaty heightens this threat by exacerbating the new Cold War, sparking a new arms race between the United States and Russia, bringing us ever closer to a nuclear holocaust.
“The people of Hawai‘i know just how real this threat is, when just over one year ago, a missile alert was sent out to over a million people in Hawai‘i, urging them to take shelter immediately. Families huddled in caves, a father lowered his child down a manhole cover into a storm drain, and a parent had to decide which of his children he would spend the last minutes of his life with.
“There was no shelter to be found. There was nowhere to hide. This alert ended up being a false alarm, but for those minutes, the people of Hawai‘i were terrified, thinking they had just minutes to live.
“What the people of Hawaii went through serves as a wake up call to the nation. This is a threat that faces every single American, in every single community in this country. There is no shelter from this threat. There is no safe place to run to. We must take action to end this new Cold War, and walk back from the abyss of nuclear war - our future is at stake.
“Over three decades ago, Presidents Reagan and Gorbachev negotiated the historic INF treaty that helped to end the Cold War, reverse the out-of-control arms race, and reduce the threat of nuclear war, moving us closer to peace. Yet, President Trump recklessly announced that he is pulling out of the INF Treaty. This has sparked a dangerous arms race, is exacerbating the new Cold War with Russia, and is undermining our national security. Walking away from this agreement doesn’t solve our problems - it makes them worse. It doesn’t bring us closer to peace - it moves us closer to nuclear war.
“Rather than scrapping the INF treaty, we should work to strengthen it, to bring other countries like China into the treaty, and to pursue a diplomatic path that serves the mutual interests of peace. Rather than having the courage to lead and negotiate a stronger agreement, Trump has decided to walk away -- a decision that makes us less safe, and fuels a new arms race that will waste more taxpayer dollars, coming out of the pockets of hard-working Americans, to pay for new arms and nuclear weapons that Trump wants to build -- which means less money to address the very real needs of our people and our communities right here at home.
“This is why I introduced H.R. 1249 -- to stop President Trump from escalating the new Cold War, to stop President Trump from sparking a new arms race, and to stop more American taxpayer dollars from being wasted on military adventurism that make our country and the world less safe.
“The INF Treaty Compliance Act would ensure that our country remains compliant with the INF Treaty, prohibiting a single taxpayer dollar from being used for weapons that would breach the treaty. This is one step Congress can and must take now toward national security and peace.”