Dem Sen. Kaine: "It Is Time" For Congress To Authorize War Against ISIS


Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) expresses his displeasure at Congress abdicating its responsibility to declare war against ISIS on Tuesday's edition of MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports.

ANDREA MITCHELL: And, Senator, you have been one of the leaders calling for a congressional authorization. Initially, the White House was reluctant; then the White House did propose one but Congress has been unwilling, refusing to vote on this. Democrats as well as Republicans not wanting to be put on the record. It's been 2001 -- or after 9/11, in 2002 -- when we had the last congressional authorization. Is this a war? Doesn't it require Congressional approval?

SEN. TIM KAINE: Absolutely, Andrea. This has been a war since August 8, 2014, when the President started the bombing campaign against ISIL and there really isn't any current statutory or treaty legal authority for the war. Congress has the responsibility under Article One to declare war and, frankly, members of Congress, both parties, both houses, have wanted to criticize the President but not vote to authorize the war or stop the war or refine what the President is doing.

But I think the events of last week, the downing of the Russian airliner, the attack in Beirut, the horrific attacks in Paris, demonstrate -- and now claims that ISIL wants to do attacks in other cities including Washington -- Congress may want to hide from this, but Congress can't hide. ISIL is not going away. And I think it is time, and you see a growing willingness and understanding in Congress that we've got to be more engaged.

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