- The Washington Times - Friday, February 26, 2021

Sen. Tim Kaine is calling on the Biden administration to brief Congress about the U.S. retaliatory airstrikes on Iranian-backed militia groups in Syria.

The strikes, the first-known combat operation since President Biden took office, were directed at a border control point used by militant groups such as Kait’ib Hezbollah that are supported by Tehran.

“The American people deserve to hear the administration’s rationale for these strikes and its legal justification for acting without coming to Congress,” said Mr. Kaine, Virginia Democrat.

The airstrikes were a response to rocket attacks within the past two weeks on U.S. personnel in Iraq. The move was praised by Republicans in Congress such as Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas.

“Responses like this are a necessary deterrent and remind Iran, its proxies and our adversaries around the world that attacks on U.S. interests will not be tolerated,” Mr. McCaul said in a Twitter message.

Mr. Kaine has criticized the efforts by presidents to expand the use of military force without congressional authorization. He introduced legislation to repeal the 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) against Iraq and replace the “open-ended” 2001 AUMF with one that was more narrowly focused. 

“Offensive military action without congressional approval is not constitutional absent extraordinary circumstances,” Mr. Kaine said. “Congress must be fully briefed on this matter expeditiously.”

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