Sen. Tim Kaine: America Shouldn’t Go to War With ISIS ‘Without a Vote of Congress’
Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., says it’s way past time for Congress to formally authorize military force to press America’s war against the Islamic State, the terrorist group also known as ISIS.
It’s been 17 months since the United States officially has engaged in battle, Kaine said, arguing for a new Authorization for Use of Military Force, or AUMF, to replace the existing one from 2001.
“I don’t think we should have America at war without a vote of Congress,” Kaine said in an interview with The Daily Signal conducted the day before a Muslim man and his wife shot 14 to death and wounded 21 others in San Bernardino, Calif.
The Virginia Democrat and his Republican counterpart from Arizona, Sen. Jeff Flake, introduced their version of an AUMF in June. Since then, they have pressed colleagues on both sides of the aisle to call for a vote on it.
In the wake of the ISIS-affiliated attacks Nov. 13 in Paris, Kaine said he was hopeful that fellow senators will take a second look:
I hope we’ll get to the point where Congress will do their job. We shouldn’t just be doing this on a presidential say-so. Congress should put our thumbprint on this mission so that our allies know where Congress stands, ISIL [or ISIS] knows where our Congress stands, but especially our troops know that we’re behind them.
Leaders of both parties don’t appear to be motivated to have their members take a tough vote when the Obama administration already is carrying out military action against ISIS.