September 05, 2013

Kaine Discusses National Security With Cadets, Tours Virginia State University

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees, traveled to Petersburg for a campus tour of Virginia State University and met with Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) cadets. During his visit, Kaine discussed the ongoing debate in Congress over the use of military force in Syria to respond to the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons to kill civilians, listening to the perspective of cadets and members of the VSU community. On Wednesday, Kaine voted for a resolution in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to authorize the limited use of military force in Syria in response to the government’s violation of longstanding international norms.

“So many Virginia families are connected to this, and I am too. When you cast a vote about military force you think about the folks who would have to take the action. So I think about them but I also think about the generations of Virginians who have been able to be in battle without risking exposure to chemical weapons” Kaine said. “I hope the young cadets here today never see combat but if they do, they deserve to have the confidence they won't face chemical weapons. That's what this norm has given us since 1925 but if we just allow it to be thrown aside and say the use of chemical weapons is ok, that also exposes Virginians.”

Following his discussion with ROTC cadets, Kaine visited the Hunter-McDaniel Building that received $22.4 million for its renovation and expansion as part of the higher education bond package he championed as governor. Kaine toured the expanded laboratory spaces and learned about its highly energy-efficient design before making a stop at the engineering building where he learned about the school’s research efforts in advanced manufacturing in collaboration with the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM). As Governor, it was Kaine’s successful bid that brought CCAM to Virginia, which he hailed as a model for the nation.

Tomorrow, Kaine will hold a roundtable with veterans and students at Old Dominion University to discuss the issue of war powers. Kaine has taken an active role on this issue, having announced efforts in July to reform the 1973 War Powers Resolution in a way that lays out a clear consultative process between Congress and the President on whether and when to engage in military action.  In the case of Syria, Kaine strongly called for the President to fully consult with Congress and seek authorization before initiating military action.