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National Security & Foreign Policy

Virginia is one of the most militarily connected states in the country and is home to every service branch, including the largest naval station in the world, premier Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force installations, and a robust Coast Guard presence. Tim knows that the Commonwealth plays a huge role in helping the nation meet our national security challenges, and he has been instrumental in ensuring that our military installations and servicemembers have the resources they need to keep the country safe. Tim is committed to strengthening America’s national security through a balance of our military, economic, and diplomatic tools.

Tim is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) and Chair of the SASC Subcommittee on Seapower, which oversees the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. He is focused on ensuring servicemembers and their families have the resources they need, including access to safe housing and mental health care. He has also successfully pushed to pass legislation to ensure the Navy has the ships it needs and make important improvements to military installations across Virginia. Tim has worked to secure resources to implement the Australia-U.K.-U.S. (AUKUS) agreement, in which Australia will purchase Virginia-class submarines from the United States. The AUKUS agreement creates opportunities for further job creation and economic growth in Hampton Roads because a significant portion of Virginia-class submarines are built in the region.

Tim is also a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) and Chair of the SFRC Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues. He is focused on strengthening relationships with international partners, striving for diplomatic solutions to conflicts, and maintaining a commitment to our values of freedom, democracy, and human rights. Tim’s bipartisan bill to prevent any U.S. president from unilaterally withdrawing from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was signed into law in December 2023. Tim played a critical role in the establishment of the Foreign Affairs Security Training Center (FASTC) at Fort Barfoot in Blackstone, VA. FASTC trains U.S. diplomatic and government personnel assigned to high-threat posts around the world.

As Chair of the SFRC Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues, Tim has prioritized enhancing U.S. partnerships in the Americas. He is one of the Senate’s few members fluent in Spanish and previously lived in Honduras as a young adult. He has led multiple trips to the region to engage with senior officials and local leaders about shared regional challenges, including migration, arms trafficking, narcotrafficking, and democracy and the rule of law. Kaine’s bipartisan legislation to direct increased federal attention to fentanyl trafficking passed as part of the Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act.

Tim has been a leading voice calling for Congress to play an assertive and deliberate role in decisions related to war and peace. He believes it should be Congress’ goal to minimize the risk of unnecessary war while maximizing the chance that the United States will decisively win any war we must fight. He has raised concerns over presidents’ use of military force without congressional authorization. In March 2023, Tim’s bipartisan bill to repeal the 1991 and 2022 Authorizations for Use to Military Force (AUMFs) and formally end the Gulf and Iraq wars passed in the Senate by a 66-30 vote. In February 2020, the Senate passed his bipartisan war powers resolution to prevent further escalation of hostilities with Iran without congressional authorization. Tim has also introduced bipartisan legislation to revise the War Powers Resolution of 1973 and replace the open-ended 2001 AUMF with a narrower authorization to prevent presidents from using these laws as blank checks to send servicemembers into harm’s way without congressional approval.

Tim has discussed with senior military officials the need for a coherent U.S. cyber strategy in order to deter foreign adversaries from conducting cyber-attacks on the U.S. Tim has emphasized that part of this strategy to address growing cybersecurity challenges must include ensuring that we have a robust cyber workforce in place to defend the nation in both the private and public sectors. Virginia is a center for the nation’s cyber workforce, with the second highest concentration of tech workers in the U.S., the largest concentration of data centers in the world, and the headquarters of many key federal agencies. To help strengthen this critical workforce, Tim has introduced and passed into law several pieces of legislation—including the DOD Cyber Scholarship Program Act and the Cyber Scholarship Opportunities Act—to make more scholarships available for students, particularly at community colleges, in exchange for a service requirement in the cyber field for the government.