CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. WVIR) — Virginia Senator Tim Kaine is sounding an alarm on the escalating situation in the Middle East. Now, he’s taking action to try to make it clear the decision of going to war lies with Congress.
Kaine told reporters Tuesday, January 7, that he is not exaggerating when he says he thinks we are on the brink of war with Iran. However, the Democratic senator says it’s Congress, not the president, who has the authority to declare war.
Kaine recently introduced a war powers resolution to force a debate and vote in Congress to prevent further escalations of hostilities with Iran. He says it's important to remember Virginia is very connected to the country's military mission with military families and contractors.
“The U.S. decision to abandon that diplomatic deal has led to a series of escalating hostilities between the United States and our allies and Iran and its proxies, and now it’s to the point where both the United States and Iran have carried out military activities that have killed and injured those on the other side,” he said.
Kaine says the war powers resolution will remain in a committee until January 13. Then Congress can debate the issue and take a floor vote.
“How dare we order troops into harms’ way where they can risk their lives or health, possibly for the rest of their life, if we in Congress are unwilling to have a debate and have a vote?” Kaine said in a floor speech before Congress.
“We’ve put war on a footing where it can go on forever – sort of like on executive autopilot – by Presidential order and Congress, in my view, and again this is bipartisan, has hidden from its responsibilities. At this moment of very grave danger – where both Americans and Iranians are losing their life in hostility – it’s time for Congress to shoulder the burden of making the most important decision that we will ever face,” Kaine concluded.