April 09, 2017

Kaine On Meet The Press: President Trump Must Ask Congress For Approval On Military Actions

WASHINGTON D.C. – Today on NBC’s Meet the Press, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees, questioned the legality of President Trump’s use of military force in Syria without Congressional approval. Acknowledging the horrible atrocities committed by the Assad regime, Kaine reiterated that while he has called for a strong response to Syria since his vote for military action following the chemical weapons attack in 2013, the President still must seek Congressional approval before initiating military force.

“I’m a strong supporter that the U.S. should take action to protect humanitarian causes, like the ban on use of chemical weapons,” Kaine said this morning on NBC’s Meet the Press. “And so I voted for a limited strike in August of 2013 to do exactly the same thing. A limited strike for that purpose – for the humanitarian purpose – is something I would likely support if there is a plan.

“But where I differ from this Administration, and I took the same position with respect to President Obama, we are a nation where you are not supposed to initiate military action, start war, without a plan that is presented to and approved by Congress. That makes us different than virtually any nation in the world. The idea of the drafters of our Constitution was that you had to put a check against an executive gone wild. We don’t have a system where the President just gets to launch missiles against anybody they want to, and they haven’t presented a plan to Congress and asked for our approval and that is what they’ve got to do.”


Kaine has long been a leading voice in the Senate on Congress's role in authorizing military action and the need for a new authorization for use of military force (AUMF) against ISIS. In 2013, Kaine voted in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to authorize military force against Syria following Assad's use of chemical weapons against his own people.