Kaine to introduce proposal to limit troops in Iraq

Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineTrump's pick to lead Pentagon glides through confirmation hearing Acosta defends Epstein deal, bucking calls for resignation Republican lawmakers on why they haven't read Mueller report: 'Tedious' and 'what's the point?' MORE’s (D-Va.) is set to unveil a proposal Wednesday to authorize military force in Iraq that would strictly limit the engagement of U.S. ground forces.

The Associated Press reported Tuesday evening that the Virginia lawmaker, who is a member of both the Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees, seeks to repeal the 2002 authorization that two presidents have cited as their authority for military operations against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL).

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Kaine's measure calls for all necessary and appropriate force to defeat ISIS as the president determines, including airstrikes and a plan to train and arm Syrian rebels.

However, his proposal prohibits using U.S. ground forces against ISIS, except for rescue missions and limited operations against high-value targets. The authorization would last for a year.

Kaine's proposal comes after Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey told lawmakers Tuesday that there could be specific circumstances where he would recommend putting U.S. forces in direct combat in Iraq. 

“To be clear, if we reach the point where I believe our advisers should accompany Iraqi troops on attacks against specific ISIL targets, I will recommend that to the president,” Dempsey said, using an alternate acronym for the terrorist group.

He said President Obama is prepared to consider the use of ground forces on a “case-by-case basis.”

House leaders expect a vote Wednesday on a measure to give Obama the authority to train and equip moderate Syrian rebels to fight ISIS. 

However, both Senate and House lawmakers are expected to defer a vote giving the president broader congressional authority to pursue military action against ISIS until after the Nov. 4 elections.

Kaine said a congressional vote was necessary given the risk that U.S. troops could face, including losing their lives. 

"If we ask them to bear the risk of battle in a war that may take a number of years that will have aspects that we can't currently predict, some will be hurt, some will lose their lives, some will see bad things happen to their comrades in arms — if we're going to ask them to risk that, then we should do our job to bless the mission and say that it's worth it," he said during a hearing Tuesday.