NORFOLK—Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) says President Obama needs to accept the will of Congress when it comes to a possible U.S. military strike against Syria.
Kaine voted earlier this week as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to support missile strikes in retaliation for the Assad regime’s apparent use of chemical weapons against his citizens.
However, Kaine says now that the President has sought Congress’ approval, he must go along with whatever final vote the Senate and House of Representatives make.
“I have a strong belief on what I think the right answer should be, but I also have a strong belief that however Congress decides, we need to abide by it and accept it,” Kaine said Friday in an interview with 13News Now.
He said the president should not pursue military action if Congress does not support it.
“I think it would be wise to abide by the will of Congress,” Kaine said. “Having brought the matter to Congress, and I urged the President to do it and I’ve urged him to do this if there was any effort in Syria or anywhere else to initiate military actions, set a precedent. Get over the sloppiness. We’ve done these decisions in the past. President over-reach and then Congress doesn’t want to vote because they don’t want to be held accountable. Do it the way the framers of the Constitution intended and let Congress get its say.”
Kaine was in Norfolk to discuss the War Powers Act at Old Dominion University.
Virginia’s other Senator, Mark Warner, was also in Hampton Roads Friday to meet with members of the Virginia Ship Repair Association at BAE Systems Shipyard in Norfolk.
Warner has not yet announced a position on Syria strikes.
When 13 News Now asked how he plans to vote, he said, “My belief is, representative democracy is, folks in Virginia hired me. I’m going to use my best judgment, seek the best information. I have access to information on the intelligence committee other folks don’t. I’m going to make that judgment, next week, that I believe will be in America’s national security interest.”