Tags: Barack Obama | War Powers | Tim Kaine | Virginia

Obama Loses Virginia's Tim Kaine as Ally on War Powers

By    |   Tuesday, 07 Oct 2014 08:19 AM

One of Barack Obama's earliest political supporters, Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine, has broken up with the president over his refusal to ask for the approval of Congress before going to war, The New York Times reported.

"Who decides we go to war has been a perennial issue for the entire history of the United States," says Andrew O'Shaughnessy of the International Center for Jefferson Studies in Monticello, Virginia, according to the Times.

The United States Constitution in Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 gives Congress the power to declare war. That power has been exercised five times while U.S. military forces have been deployed around the world some 125 times. The 1973 War Powers Act was meant to curb the president's ability to commit the United States to an armed conflict absent the consent of Congress. Critics say it has proven ineffectual and Kaine is pushing for legislation to replace it, according to the Times.

The senator says he feels strongly about the issue because of Virginia's deep ties to the military and because the primary architect of the Constitution, James Madison, was a Virginian.

Kaine says, "You don't ask people to sacrifice their lives until the nation has debated and committed to the mission. It's immoral," the Times reported.

He consults regularly with former Republican senator John Warner who had been a prominent member of the Armed Services Committee. Now 87, Warner has been urging Kaine to pursue the cause. He says "Kaine was very close to the president, but he courageously went out, and I think properly so, demanded that Congress participate," the Times reported.

In a recent New York Times op-ed Kaine wrote, "The framers understood that the president, as the head of our armed forces, must defend the nation from imminent threat. But when the mission shifts from defense to offense, congressional approval is essential."

He wrote that when Obama announced the U.S. would take the offensive against the Islamic State group the need for congressional approval was made plain.

On various occasions, including Libya the White House has insisted that Obama's actions have been consistent with the War Powers Act.

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One of Barack Obama's earliest political supporters, Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine, has broken up with the president over his refusal to ask for the approval of Congress before going to war, The New York Times reported.
War Powers, Tim Kaine, Virginia
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2014-19-07
Tuesday, 07 Oct 2014 08:19 AM
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