- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Sen. Tim Kaine, Virginia Democrat, said Tuesday it’s clear that authorizations for use of force passed in the early 2000s don’t cover the current campaign against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, as the Obama administration has argued.

“I think it is such a weak argument,” he said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “There were two authorizations — one done right after 9/11 … and one done with respect to Iraq. If you look at the wording of the two authorizations, the intent of the two authorizations, what members of Congress thought about it when they voted, but especially what President Obama has said about both authorizations since he’s been president, it’s clear that the authorizations don’t cover this war against ISIL.”

Until now, the administration has used the 2001 and 2002 authorizations as justification for its campaign against the group, and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing Tuesday on the matter.

But Mr. Kaine, who has been one of the leading voices on Capitol Hill in calling for input from Congress on the matter, said that’s not the way it should work.

“And that’s why it is so important for Congress not to abdicate its job as its been doing for the last few months, not to adjourn and go home for Christmas on the 11th of December [while] we have people fighting overseas and risking their lives — we got to have this debate and have this vote,” he said.

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