Tim Kaine has helped people throughout his life as a missionary, civil rights lawyer, teacher and elected official. He is one of 30 people in American history to have served as a Mayor, Governor and United States Senator.
Tim was elected to the Senate in 2012 as a can-do optimist skilled in bringing people together across old lines of party, race or region. In the Senate, he serves on the Armed Services, Budget, Foreign Relations, and Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committees. He is Ranking Member of the Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee and the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia, and Counterterrorism.
Tim’s Armed Services work focuses on crafting smart defense strategy in a changing world and also enables him to tackle a personal mission – the reduction of unemployment among veterans, especially Iraq and Afghanistan-era veterans. His first piece of legislation in the Senate, the Troop Talent Act of 2013, established new standards to help active duty servicemembers attain civilian credentials for military skills to assist their transition into the workforce. In his committee role, Tim has also worked to secure key Virginia priorities in the past three defense bills, including the refueling and overhaul of the Norfolk-based U.S.S. George Washington in the 2015 Authorization and preservation of the U.S. Navy’s 11-aircraft carrier fleet and thousands of jobs across Hampton Roads in the 2016 Authorization.
On Foreign Relations, Tim works to enhance American diplomatic leadership, with a special focus on the Middle East and Latin America. He is a leading voice in efforts to expand the role of Congress on foreign policy and improve the way Congress and the President consult on matters of war, peace, and diplomacy. Tim has introduced bipartisan legislation to revise the War Powers Resolution of 1973 and has pushed Congress to finally vote to authorize the ongoing U.S. military action against ISIL. In addition, Tim coauthored the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, establishing the process for congressional review of the diplomatic effort to block any Iranian nuclear weapons program. He is one of the Senate’s few members fluent in Spanish and serves as honorary chairman of the US-Spain Council.
On the Budget Committee, Tim used his experience making tough budget decisions in local and state office in Virginia to help Congress pass a two-year budget agreement in 2013 to offset the worst impacts of sequestration that had disproportionately impacted the Commonwealth. As a harsh critic of sequestration and an advocate for biennial budgeting, Tim strongly supported the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 for continuing to scale back sequestration cuts and providing for two more years of budgetary certainty.
As a new member of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee in the 115th Congress, Tim will have the opportunity to focus on two of his longtime passions: health care and education. In this critical time for health care in America, Tim is motivated now more than ever to fight against harmful policy proposals that seek to reverse the progress we’ve made in increasing access to care for millions of Americans. Tim will also use his new role to look for ways to further address the opioid abuse epidemic that affects every corner of the Commonwealth.
Tim is a founder and co-chair of the bipartisan Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus, which focuses on improving access to CTE programs to ensure that students of all ages are prepared with the skills they need for the jobs of the 21st century. Many of his proposals to advance CTE were included in the 2015 re-write of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Tim also supports expanding economic opportunity through infrastructure investment, immigration reform and smart strategies to expand affordable health care access.
In the 114th Congress, Tim introduced many pieces of important legislation for Virginia, including a bill to recognize six Virginia Indian tribes. Inspired by a discussion he had with advocates for sexual assault survivors at the University of Virginia, Tim championed successful legislation to encourage public secondary schools to teach students about how to prevent dating violence and sexual assault. And after numerous discussions with recovering addicts, families, medical professionals, and law enforcement officials about the growing opioid epidemic in Virginia, Tim introduced legislation to increase access to life-saving overdose medication and prevent drug-related deaths.
In the 113th Congress, Tim introduced legislation to preserve the Commonwealth’s historic Civil War battlegrounds, which President Obama signed into law. He also worked to pass bipartisan legislation to expand pediatric cancer research at the National Institutes of Health in honor of Gabriella Miller, a young girl from Leesburg, Virginia who lost her battle with brain cancer in October 2013.
Tim has focused closely on climate change and its effects on Virginia, especially sea level rise and flooding. In 2014, he co-hosted a bipartisan conference that brought together policymakers, experts, and regional stakeholders to discuss strategies to combat the threat that these challenges pose to Hampton Roads.
Tim grew up working in his father’s ironworking shop in Kansas City. He was educated at the University of Missouri and Harvard Law School and started his public service career by taking a year off from Harvard to run a technical school founded by Jesuit missionaries in Honduras. After law school, he practiced law in Richmond for 17 years, specializing in the representation of people who had been denied housing due to their race or disability. He also began teaching part-time at the University of Richmond in 1987.
Tim was first elected to office in 1994, serving as a city councilmember and then Mayor of Richmond. He became Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in 2002 and was inaugurated as Virginia’s 70th Governor in 2006.
Tim is married to Anne Holton, who served as Virginia Secretary of Education from 2014 until 2016. A former legal aid lawyer and juvenile court judge, Anne previously ran Great Expectations, a program for more than 500 foster children attending Virginia community colleges. Tim and Anne revel in the adventures of their three grown children and live in the same Northside Richmond neighborhood where they moved as newlyweds more than 30 years ago. Tim loves reading, being outdoors, and playing harmonica with bluegrass bands throughout Virginia.