Kaine back on the job, pushing for war vote, carrier funding

13News Now Mike Gooding has the story

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WVEC) -- "It was great to win the popular vote, but, we fell short in the Electoral College. And the only consolation to that is to come back to the Senate with important work to do."

So said Virginia Senator Tim Kaine. After 105 days on the campaign trail as an unsuccessful candidate for vice president, he is back on Capitol Hill.

He is once again dealing with a familiar issue.

"The troops deserve to know Congress is behind this mission," he said on the Senate floor Tuesday, regarding Operation Inherent Resolve.

Citing the recent death of Navy Senior Chief Scott Dayton, Kaine is renewing his call for an Authorization for the Use of Military Force against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria..

"The war against ISIS is now two and half years old. It began in August of 2014" he said in an interview. "We had a Virginian killed in combat based out of Virginia Beach, Petty Officer Scott Dayton, who lived in Woodbridge, 23 year veteran of the Navy was killed. And he was the first combat death in Syria, was killed on thanksgiving Day. I've been harshly critical of the president but especially the Congress to allow the war to be waged by Presidential act without a Congressional ratification by vote. And I'm going to continue to raise that issue in the new administration as well."

Kaine also plans to push for a more dependable stream of funding for the Navy's aircraft carrier construction program.

He discussed a letter he and Virginia Senator Mark Warner wrote this week, urging that the CVN-80/USS Enterprise program be fully  funded at Fiscal Year 2017 levels, instead of at Continuing Resolution levels--a difference of about $500 million.

It's a shortfall that Kaine notes could harm Newport News shipbuilding.

"The adjustment of the work plan could mean at a critical time that they would need to scale back on wok force issues," he said. "The best thing we can do for the shipyard and pretty much the entire economy is send a signal of certainty. I don't want to see Virginia workers hurt. i don't want to see layoffs or work slow downs if we can avoid it.."

Kaine did weigh in briefly on the recent election. When asked what he thought of President-elect Donald Trump's claim of widespread voter fraud, Kaine said, "that is a complete fabrication."


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