Tim’s Armed Services work focuses on crafting smart defense strategy in a changing world and has given him a platform to focus on the reduction of unemployment among veterans, especially Iraq- and Afghanistan-era veterans. His first enacted bill in the Senate established new standards to help active duty servicemembers attain civilian credentials for military skills to help them find jobs upon leaving the service. He has also introduced legislation to support military families and bring down the high unemployment rate among military spouses. In his Committee role, Tim has also worked to secure key Virginia priorities in defense bills, including the refueling and complex overhaul of the Norfolk-based U.S.S. George Washington. Tim has worked to secure funding for military construction projects in Virginia and continually advocated for the block buy of aircraft carriers to ensure our flexible fleet is ready to defend the nation. He has also pushed both the Obama and Trump Administrations to put forward a true cyber doctrine on how to defend our nation from future cyber attacks.
On the Budget Committee, Tim has used his experience making tough budget decisions in local and state office in Virginia to help advocate for Virginia’s priorities. A harsh critic of spending cuts that were painful for Hampton Roads and the entire Commonwealth, Tim helped broker a two-year budget deal to return some stability to the budget process and avoid crisis-to-crisis budgeting. Kaine has fought back against President Trump’s threats to cut or eliminate key Virginia priorities such as Chesapeake Bay restoration, the Appalachian Regional Commission, transportation grants, health care, and more.
On the Foreign Relations Committee, Tim works to enhance American diplomatic leadership. He believes that for far too long, Congress has abdicated its Constitutional responsibility and let Presidents declare war without legal authorization. For this reason, he has introduced several pieces of bipartisan legislation to review war powers and reassert Congress’ responsibility. 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.
Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee
After a twenty-year career as a city council member, mayor, and governor, Tim is thrilled to be on the committee that focuses on education, health care, and jobs. As a member of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Tim has pushed for bipartisan solutions to stabilize the health care marketplace and has worked to serve as an emergency brake on any attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and sabotage access to quality health care. He is working with the Committee on the upcoming rewrite of the Higher Education Act, where he will prioritize building a higher education system that values community college and technical education as much as four-year degrees. Building on his support for job training, Tim successfully got many of his provisions to strengthen Career and Technical Education (CTE) in the most recent K-12 education authorization act; these provisions include amendments to expand career counseling, modernize high schools with work-based learning opportunities, and designate CTE as a part of a well-rounded education along with traditional subjects including English, math, and science.