Kaine says he has votes to pass Iraq War repeal in Senate

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.)
Greg Nash

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said on Wednesday that he has enough GOP support to get a repeal of Iraq War authorizations through the Senate. 

“We think we have 11 who have either co-sponsored or voted for it or told the press they’re going to vote for it,” Kaine said.

Kaine added that more Republicans could sign on as they actively try to build support within the broader Senate GOP caucus.

Kaine’s comments come after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee advanced legislation from him and Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) that would repeal the 1991 and 2002 authorizations for the use of military force (AUMF), which are both related to wars in Iraq. 

Three GOP senators voted for it in committee: Young, Rob Portman (Ohio) and Rand Paul (Ky.).

GOP Sens. Mike Lee (Utah), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Chuck Grassley (Iowa) and Jerry Moran (Kan.) are also formal co-sponsors, but not on the Foreign Relations Committee. 

In order to pass the Senate, the bill would need the support of at least 10 GOP senators if every Democratic senator voted “yes.” 

Kaine said that he expects to have every member of the Democratic caucus agree.

“Based on earlier votes and what folks have said to me, yes, I think we’ll all 50,” Kaine said, asked about support within the Democratic caucus. 

The likelihood that there’s enough support to break a legislative filibuster and pass the bill in the Senate would be a significant boost to Congress’s long-stalled efforts to try to claw back some of their war authority. 

In June, the House voted to repeal the 2002 and 1991 AUMFs, as well as a 1957 resolution that provided broad authorization for military action in the Middle East to protect against “armed aggression from any country controlled by international communism.”

Schumer has vowed that he will give the 2002 repeal a vote on the Senate floor this year. 

That could be as a stand-alone vote or an amendment to a massive defense policy bill. Kaine predicted that a stand-alone vote was more likely but that it wouldn’t happen until at least September.

“I intend to bring the repeal up for a vote on the Senate floor later this year. Members should be on notice; we’re going to vote on this,” Schumer said from the Senate floor. 

Tags 2002 AUMF authorization for the use of military force Chuck Grassley Iraq War authorization Jerry Moran Lisa Murkowski Mike Lee Rand Paul Rob Portman Tim Kaine Todd Young
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