Virginia Democratic senator Tim Kaine has been the leading voice arguing that a new authorization for the use of military force is necessary for the president’s military campaign against the Islamic State, and he reiterated that message on Sunday.
“It really concerns me that the president would assert he has the ability to try to do this unilaterally when as a candidate for president he made very plain that the president cannot unilaterally start a war without Congress, he was very clear about that,” Kaine told CBS’s Bob Schieffer.
Neither the 2001 authorization that gave President Bush the green light to target those who perpetrated the September 11 attacks nor the 2002 authorization for the invasion of Iraq applies to the current conflict, he said. “We’re not supposed to start a war without Congress,” Kaine said. The president, he argued, “does not have the Article II constitutional authority to do this.”
Kaine has introduced a resolution that would authorize military action against the Islamic State for one year, but it has not yet been brought to the floor for a vote.