Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | congressional | authorization | war | ISIS

Sen. Kaine: Congressional Approval Needed for War

By    |   Sunday, 28 Sep 2014 02:07 PM

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., thinks the Obama administration has done a good job in bringing together a multinational coalition to strike against the Islamic State (ISIS), but he maintains that a war should not be started without congressional approval.

"I've introduced an authorization to authorize the mission with key limitations," Kaine told CBS "Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer Sunday. "We are not supposed to start a war without Congress."

President Barack Obama, while announcing the airstrikes that would take place against ISIS targets, was careful to describe the action as a counterterrorism strike, not as war, a description that has met with a great deal of criticism.

And Kaine pointed out Sunday that when the founders of the Constitution drafted it, they made "a break from previous history where war was a matter for the executive [branch] and said war should not be started without Congress."

The reason for that, Kaine told Schieffer, is so that servicemen and women would not be put in harm's way "if there is not a political consensus that the mission is worth it."

Kaine said he does not believe that Obama has the authority to order the mission against ISIS without Congressional authority.

The president has cited authorizations that were passed by Congress in 2002 that cover such attacks on targets that prove an imminent threat to the United States, an action that was passed after the 9/11 terror attacks.

"We should be debating and voting on this mission," said Kaine.

Kaine said he has introduced a resolution that tracks the president's humanitarian aid plan, which is not controversial, as the United States is the world's largest provider of such aid.

Further, he said, the resolution tracks counterterrorism efforts to go after ISIS leaders and to train and assist ground forces, with "key limitations."

"I included a section where the president would have to come back and keep Congress informed to extend the mission beyond a year," Kaine said. "A limitation on ground forces."

His resolution also includes a repeal of the 2002 Iraq War authorization "so we don't have dueling authorizations and a careful definition of who the target is," as "the notion we can go after people who perpetrated 9/11 is now used to go after groups that did not exist when 9/11 happened [and] suggests we have to be careful how we define who we are at war with."

Further, he said Congress adjourned on Sept. 18 for the midterms, which is the second-earliest mid-term recess on record.

"If the president asked us to stay like [Great Britain Prime Minister] David Cameron asked Parliament to come back, we would have," said Kaine. The one vote, for training of Syrian opposition troops, showed strong bipartisan support, he noted.

"We could have given the president, and more importantly given our servicemen and women, the strong backing of our political class before we asked them to risk their lives in what could be an extended mission," Kaine said.

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Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., thinks the Obama administration has done a good job in bringing together a multinational coalition to strike against the Islamic State (ISIS), but he maintains that a war should not be started without congressional approval. I've introduced an...
congressional, authorization, war, ISIS
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2014-07-28
Sunday, 28 Sep 2014 02:07 PM
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