Senator Kaine Speaks out about Syria - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Exclusive Interview: Senator Kaine Speaks out about Syria

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The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is expected to pass a bipartisan resolution authorizing President Obama to use military force to respond to violence in Syria.

In an exclusive interview with NBC29 on Wednesday, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine laid out what's next.  Kaine is one of the people responsible for crafting this new resolution to allow the use of force in Syria.

The Obama administration says Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against his own people, killing more than 1,000 in the country's ongoing civil war.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee could move forward Wednesday with a resolution to allow the limited use of force in response to those attacks. Kaine says there should be a punishment for violating international norms, but it's up to Congress to make sure the next step is the right one.

"We're better when we're united, and the worst thing we can do for our servicemen and women is to send them into battle, potentially having them risk their lives, without them being able to count on the political leadership is unified behind them. They ought to be able to count on that," said Kaine.

The Senate resolution limits any military action in Syria to 90 days, with no boots on the ground. Kaine expects the resolution to go before the full Senate next week, as the House works on its own proposal.

Watch the video above for the full interview with Senator Kaine.

Office of Senator Tim Kaine
Press Release


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs, released the following statement today after a resolution authorizing use of military force in Syria was passed out of the Foreign Relations Committee:
"Today I voted for a limited authorization for the use of military force in Syria to respond to Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons to kill civilians, including more than 400 children. A failure to respond to such a blatant violation of longstanding international norms not only signals an acceptance of this atrocity, it also jeopardizes the lives of our servicemembers in combat both today and in the future. For years, countries have refrained from using chemical weapons on our servicemembers because of this international standard and for their safety, we must continue to defend this principle. 

"The resolution approved by the Committee today clearly states that there will be no U.S. combat troops inside Syria, and it is limited in scope.  I applaud the President's decision to come to Congress for authorization, something that I have called for publicly since the debate over Syria began. Our nation is stronger in military matters when we act in a united fashion. Our servicemembers must be able to rely on the full support of their political leadership when asked to defend our nation. I now call on the full Senate to vote in favor of this authorization. The use of chemical weapons to kill innocent men, women, and children is intolerable and there must be a consequence."

In July, Kaine announced efforts to reform the 1973 War Powers Resolution in a way that lays out a clear consultative process between Congress and the President on whether and when to engage in military action. Recently, Kaine has called for the President to fully consult with Congress before initiating military action in Syria and advocated a debate on authorization of military action, before or shortly after any strike occurs.
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