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Kaine Statement On U.S. Airstrike That Killed Qassim Suleimani

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, released the following statement after President Trump directed the Pentagon to launch an airstrike that killed Iranian Quds Force commander General Qassim Suleimani: 

"As I have warned for years, Trump’s decision to tear up a diplomatic deal that was working and resume escalating aggressions with Iran has brought us to the brink of another war in the Middle East. Qassim Suleimani was a despicable killer, but this drastic escalation of hostilities — waging a military attack on Iraqi soil over the objections of that country and without congressional authorization — will increase the threat to American troops, diplomats, and families in the region. Trump's ‘maximum pressure’ campaign has made the region less stable, divided us from key allies, and is driving our adversaries together. Congress must act to stop President Trump from entangling America in yet another unnecessary war in the Middle East.”

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.