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Kaine On Iran War Powers Resolution: “Congress Must Act To Shoulder Its Responsibility”

Watch the floor speech here. 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine delivered a floor speech calling for passage of his war powers resolution that would force a debate and vote in Congress to prevent further escalation of hostilities with Iran. In the speech, Kaine outlined a series of activities that have raised the risk of war with Iran and discussed the serious consequences for our nation and the world.

“Every member of Congress should vote, and then be accountable for, the question of whether another war in the Middle East is a good idea… If we’re to order our troops and their families to run that risk, then it should be based on a public consensus, as reflected in an open congressional debate and vote, that war is in the national interest… By what right do we consign our troops to possible injury and death if we are unwilling to have a debate and cast a vote ourselves? We cannot hide under our desks, outsource our constitutional duty to any President and pretend that we can avoid accountability for war and its consequences,” Kaine said

“At this particular moment, with the specter of war so present, it is time for Congress to assert itself… Congress has the responsibility and Congress must act to shoulder its responsibility,” Kaine continued

For years, Kaine has been the leading voice in Congress raising concerns over Presidents’ efforts to expand the use of military force without congressional authorization. In September of 2017, Kaine wrote a piece in TIME warning of the consequences if Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal with Iran. In July of 2018, Kaine wrote a piece in The Atlantic warning that President Trump was blundering toward war with Iran. Kaine has introduced legislation to repeal the 2002 AUMF and replace the open-ended 2001 AUMF with a narrower authorization. He also introduced a bipartisan amendment to the national defense bill to prohibit unconstitutional war with Iran, which was supported by a bipartisan majority of Senators in June.