Kaine urges congressional vote on U.S. action in Iraq, Syria

WAVY/Greg Gadberry

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) – Senator Tim Kaine is joining a growing number of lawmakers calling on a vote on U.S. military action against ISIS.

On Wednesday, 10 On Your Side spoke with him while he was in Hampton Roads to get his reaction to the latest developments in Iraq and Syria.

Continuing his two-week tour of the Commonwealth, Senator Kaine made his rounds at the Newport News Shipbuilding Apprentice School. His goal was to discuss the importance of the programs they offer as an alternative to traditional four-year colleges that can prepare students for highly-skilled, well-paying jobs.

Photos: Sen. Tim Kaine visits apprentice school

But never far from conversation these days is his stance on what’s happening thousands of miles away.

“What I am strongly promoting is the notion that the President should not engage in action against ISIL, unilaterally without Congress,” Kaine said. “The framers of the Constitution clearly intended that Congress should have to give approval prior to the initiation of military action.”

Kaine has been outspoken, urging President Obama and his administration to use the next two weeks to lay out the U.S. mission in Iraq and then put it up for a vote on Capitol Hill. He said it’s what the law requires, and it’s what should take place as soon as lawmakers return from August recess in 10 days. He said a consensus would show troops they have the support from a nation that’s on the same page on at least this one thing.

“We need a clear definition of the mission,” Kaine said. “What’s the United States mission when it comes to ISIL? What should we do?”

But some say Kaine’s position isn’t sitting well with everyone, especially those that sit on the same side of the aisle. Some say many of his fellow Democrats worry it could hurt them on election day. He responded to that sentiment, too.

“Don’t be afraid of a vote on this,” Kaine said. “This is exactly why we have a Congress. It’s the most solemn responsibility we have. We need to have the debate and decide on whether we’re going to approve these military actions.”

Kaine also visited the Philippine Cultural Center in Virginia Beach on Wednesday. Thursday, he’ll tour Craney Island and then join Senator Mark Warner for the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce Forum.

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