Kaine, others push for war debate, vote in Congress

Senator Tim Kaine tried once again to push a debate and vote over a new war powers authorization.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WVEC) -- With the escalating situation unfolding overseas, an old debate was rearing up capitol hill.

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine tried once again to push a debate and vote over a new war powers authorization.

Kaine and others are concerned that the U.S. is prosecuting a war, based on 16-year old language, that was passed after 9-11, long before we knew we'd be venturing into Syria, and long before there was even such a thing as ISIS.

"We have been illegally at war now for a long time," said Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. "This is illegal war at this point."

At issue, the fact that the United States is acting, based upon the 2001 post 9-11 Authorization for Use of Military Force.

"I think to work on the basis of a 16-year-old AUMF is simply not tenable," said Arizona Senator Jeff Flake. "Our allies need to know where we are. Our adversaries need to know where we are, that we speak with one voice. Our troops in the field need to know we speak with one voice."

The Republican and the Democrat Kaine have written a new authorization for the use of military force, specifically against ISIS, al-Qaeda, and the Taliban.

"It's time to do this," said Kaine. "It's a new Administration—that's always a good time to do this—and we have both the Secretary of Defense and the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who as recently as 10 days ago, testified before the Armed Services Committee and said we should do this. Our military leadership is telling us we should do this. It is time to do it."

The new AUMF would require the President to report to Congress with a strategy to protect the U.S. from ISIS, al-Qaeda, and the Taliban, and for Congress to conduct a review in five years. The committee took no action today, and the chairman said the panel will revisit the matter in a few weeks.

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