Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 29, 2015

Tim Kaine: Obama Needs Congress to OK Iraq Air Strikes

Kaine has been outspoken about the scope of the War Powers Resolution. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Kaine says the president needs congressional authorization for air strikes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine wants President Barack Obama to seek new approval from Congress for the current bombing campaign in Iraq.

“I support providing humanitarian relief to Iraqi civilians and measures to protect American personnel, but I am concerned about the timeline and scope of our renewed military efforts in Iraq,” the Virginia Democrat said in a statement. “Since the Administration has conceded that the 2002 Iraq Authorization for Use of Military Force is obsolete and should be repealed, it is now up to the Administration to receive Congressional authorization for the current air campaign against IS. This is especially the case since the President has indicated that our renewed military engagement in Iraq could be a long-term project.”

Kaine, with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has been engaged in an effort to overhaul the terms of the War Powers Resolution.

The view of the former Democratic National Committee chairman and Virginia governor shouldn’t come as a surprise. Kaine said in June that U.S. strikes against the Islamic State group (known as IS, ISIS or ISIL) would require Obama to return to the Congress. That’s despite the fact that the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) remains on the books.

“No one doubts the barbarity of IS and threat it poses to our partners and I will always support the President if he takes action to protect American service members and diplomats. But the mission and objectives of any military action must be made clear to Congress, the American people, and our men and women in uniform,” said Kaine.

Kaine’s view is in line with the position advanced Saturday by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in Iowa. According to multiple reports, including one from Time.com, Cruz said he did not believe the 2002 Iraq AUMF covered a new campaign in Iraq.

“I believe initiating new military hostilities in a sustained basis in Iraq obligates the president to go back to Congress and to make the case and to seek congressional authorization,” Cruz said. “I hope that if he intends to continue this that he does that.”

Kaine’s full statement appears below:

“Iraq is at a crucial juncture that requires all Iraqis to put aside past grievances and unite as a country. I am encouraged by the steps that have been taken in recent days to build political consensus and welcome the nomination of Dr. Haider al-Abadi to be the next Prime Minister of Iraq. It is important for all Iraqis to foster a peaceful transfer of power and swiftly form an inclusive government, which is essential to combating the threat posed by the Islamic State (IS). I support additional assistance to a new inclusive Iraqi government as it faces this challenge, including further security assistance to Kurdish forces that are on the frontlines battling IS.

I support providing humanitarian relief to Iraqi civilians and measures to protect American personnel, but I am concerned about the timeline and scope of our renewed military efforts in Iraq. Since the Administration has conceded that the 2002 Iraq Authorization for Use of Military Force is obsolete and should be repealed, it is now up to the Administration to receive Congressional authorization for the current air campaign against IS. This is especially the case since the President has indicated that our renewed military engagement in Iraq could be a long-term project. I have long stressed that Congress must formally approve the initiation of significant military action. It is precisely because of circumstances like these that in January Senator John McCain and I introduced the War Powers Consultation Act of 2014 to clarify the consultation process between the Legislative and Executive branches.

No one doubts the barbarity of IS and threat it poses to our partners and I will always support the President if he takes action to protect American service members and diplomats. But the mission and objectives of any military action must be made clear to Congress, the American people, and our men and women in uniform.”

 

 

 

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  1. cat48

    Aug. 12, 2014
    6:16 p.m.

    He sent you Vacationing Bums a letter, so read it & start getting ready to vote!

  2. interestedobserver

    Aug. 13, 2014
    9:57 a.m.

    The War Powers Act is a joke. It was a joke in 1973..and it still is today. All he will do is ignore it. Running a war via committee, ie going to the do nothing Congress is the worst possible solution.

  3. Larry Linn

    Aug. 13, 2014
    10:20 a.m.

    Congress is on vacation, and when it is in session, the only thing that the members of both houses accomplish are photo-ops.

  4. Diggsc

    Aug. 13, 2014
    10:36 a.m.

    So the very first time a Democratic Party Senator has trouble with Obama ignoring and usurping Congressional oversight is when he’s conducting military operations. That sounds about right for a committed Leftard.

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  6. richard40

    Aug. 14, 2014
    3:49 p.m.

    Obama may have said the Iraq war resolution shoud be repealed, but since it never actually was, Obama still has authority to use it. It may indicate Obamas hipocracy, but it is legal.

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