Photo: Congressman Scott DesJarlais (R-TN-04) speaks during the House Armed Services Committee meeting on September 1st, 2021.
Photo Credit: Office of Congressman Scott DesJarlais
Published September 7, 2021
The Tennessee Conservative Staff –
During the House Armed Services Committee meeting on September 1st, Congressman Scott DesJarlais (R-TN-04) withdrew his ‘No First Use’ amendment (Log 844) from the National Defense Authorization Act due to a conflict with the majority in the House Foreign Affairs committee preventing it from receiving an up or down vote from the House Armed Services Committee.
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Upon the withdrawal of the amendment, DesJarlais delivered the following remarks:
“One of the unfortunate impacts of the recent events in Afghanistan is that many of our allies
are questioning U.S. resolve over the past month we have seen broad condemnation of
President Biden’s withdrawal from our various allies. We’ve seen President Biden censured in
the British House of Commons, in Germany—the head of Chancellor Merkle’s conservative
party and likely her successor called the U.S. withdrawal the biggest debacle that NATO has
ever seen. Latvia’s Defense Minister said the U.S. withdrawal caused chaos and showed the
west weaker globally.
This is not the purpose of my amendment. However, there is another Biden proposal which
could build unprecedented damage to our allies that are already showing concern and that is
adopting a ‘sole purpose’ or ‘no first use’ nuclear declaratory policy.
There isn’t a single ally that supports this shift in U.S. nuclear declaratory policy. And we’ve
heard from the British, French, Germans, Poles, Japanese, and South Koreans that adopting
such a policy would be devastating to U.S. alliances and erode our extended deterrent.
I have questioned personally multiple commanders in this committee over the past year on this
issue and I can’t recall a single person who supported no first use and that would include
General Milley on June 23, 2021, who said, “My personal best military advice is to maintain
all options to the president of the united states at all times so I would not recommend making a
declaration of no first use.” Also, Admiral Richards quoted, “I see a no first use policy as
degrading the nation’s deterrence. It will remove a level of ambiguity that has deterrence
My amendment would put in place a 90-day notification window and require the president to
certify he has consulted with our allies before making any changes to U.S. declaratory policy.
Unfortunately, due to a conflict with the majority in the House Foreign Affairs committee, my
amendment is prevented from an up or down vote in this committee which I’m disappointed
because I feel that it has a very good chance of passing so maybe we’ll see it again in another
location. We don’t want to further erode our relationships with our allies. And with that Mr.
Chairman, I withdraw my amendment.”
The National Defense Authorization Act passed the House Armed Services Committee and will now head to the House floor.
Congressman DesJarlais plans to re-introduce this amendment on the House floor before the bill’s final passage.