- The Washington Times - Monday, December 8, 2014

Sen. Tim Kaine, Virginia Democrat, renewed his call Monday for a debate over a new authorization for use of force against the Islamic State terrorist group as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee prepares for a Tuesday hearing on the matter.

“Constitutionally, Congress is supposed to weigh in, but the real issue here is you shouldn’t ask men and women to risk their lives … unless Congress is willing to debate it,” Mr. Kaine said on CNN’s “New Day.” “But if we’re not willing to have that debate, it’s really immoral for us to send people into harm’s way.”

Mr. Kaine said he supports the president’s mission against Islamic State but that he wants Congress to weigh in. The White House has used prior authorizations for missions in Iraq and Afghanistan as justification for its mission against Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, that involves targeted airstrikes in an effort to “degrade and destroy” the group in Iraq and Syria.

Mr. Kaine said the chances of Congress’s disapproving of the war are “pretty low,” saying he believes the president had the votes in Congress in September and that a rough head count on the Foreign Relations Committee would have been about a 2:1 vote.

“I wish we had done it then, but we need to do it now,” he said.

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