ICAN Director Beatrice Fihn, with the Nobel Peace Prize, and Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, with
H.R. 2419, are flanked by Timmon Wallis and Vicki Elson, of NuclearBan.US. Photo: Jack Miller
April 30, 2019: WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today introduced the Nuclear Weapons Abolition and Economic and Energy Conversion Act of 2019, which calls on the United States to sign and ratify the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, eliminate its nuclear weapons along with those of every other country, and use the money and resources saved to address climate change and other pressing social needs. Norton was also the first member of the US Congress to sign the ICAN Parliamentary Pledge in May, 2018, joining almost 1,000 parliamentarians from 30 countries who have pledged to work for the signature and ratification of the 2017 Treaty in their respective countries. To see an updated list of which US Congresspeople have signed the Pledge, click here.
“Our bill is as timely as ever,” Norton said. “Although the United States possesses one of the largest nuclear arsenals, there are still plans to spend trillions of dollars more on these doomsday weapons while urgent domestic needs, including health care, infrastructure, and clean energy, face funding shortfalls. The United States can re-establish our moral leadership in the world by redirecting these funds to urgent domestic issues, not preparing for human extinction.”
Norton invited International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) Executive Director Beatrice Fihn to take part in the launch of her bill. ICAN received the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for its work on the Treaty, and Ms. Fihn brought the Nobel medal to Norton’s office for the ceremony. She paid tribute to the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), an important partner of ICAN which played a key role, both in the negotiation of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and in the formulation of the nuclear abolition bill which Eleanor Holmes Norton has introduced to the House every year since 1994.
“Congresswoman Norton has been one of the few voices showing courageous leadership on this issue for several years,” said International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) Executive Director Beatrice Fihn. “We now have a nuclear ban treaty that provides a clear path to realize the vision the Congresswoman has been presenting. Her strong support for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is an example for all US political leaders and an important message to other nations who are leading on this issue.”
Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), a co-sponsor of Norton’s bill, has also introduced his own resolution calling on the US to “embrace the goals and provisions of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons” (H.Res. 302). These are hugely significant developments for the US Congress, and we ask all US voters to write to their members of Congress urging them to co-sponsor both bills.