Clinton has an actual plan to beat terrorism; Trump doesn't
To beat terrorism, there's only one candidate who can do it, and it's Clinton. She's got a plan to do it. She was part of the national security team that wiped out bin Laden. Here's her plan to defeat ISIL. First, we've got to keep taking out their
leaders on the battlefield. She was part of the team that got bin Laden, and she'll lead the team that will get Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the head of ISIS. We've got to disrupt financing networks; third, disrupt their ability to recruit on the Internet, in
their safe havens. We also have to work with allies to share and surge intelligence. That's the Clinton plan; she's got the experience to do it. Trump can't start a Twitter war with Miss Universe without shooting himself in the foot. Trump doesn't have
a plan. He said, "I have a secret plan," and then he said, "Um, I know more than all the generals about ISIL." And then he said, "I'm going to call the generals to help me figure out a plan." And finally he said, "I'm going to fire all the generals."
Reagan warned about fools & maniacs with nuclear weapons
Let me tell you what will really make the Middle East dangerous. Donald Trump's idea that more nations should get nuclear weapons, Saudi Arabia, Japan, South Korea. Ronald Reagan said something about nuclear proliferation in the 1980s.
He said the problem is that some fool or maniac could trigger a catastrophic event. I think that's who Governor Pence's running mate is, exactly who Governor Reagan warned us about.
Source: 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate at Longwood University
, Oct 4, 2016
Terrorism threat is down due to killing Osama and Iran deal
Q: Do you think the world today is a safer or more dangerous place than it was eight years ago? A: The terrorist threat has decreased in some ways, because bin Laden is dead. The terrorist threat has decreased in some ways because an Iranian
nuclear weapons program has been stopped. The terrorist threat to US troops has been decreased in some ways because there's not 175,000 in a dangerous part of the world. There's only 15,000. But there are other parts of the world that are challenging.
Source: 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate at Longwood University
, Oct 4, 2016
Inspired to follow current events during the Vietnam war
Q: Have you always had a passion for politics?
A: My family was very non-political as I grew up, but it was a tumultuous time in the era of civil rights advocacy and the Vietnam War.
We read morning and evening newspapers every day and cared deeply about what was happening in our country and world.
Source: Rockhurst High School, PNonline.org, Q&A on 2016 Veepstakes
, Jul 31, 2016
Help "Blue Water" veterans harmed by Agent Orange
Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine co-sponsored bipartisan legislation to ensure thousands of Navy veterans from the Vietnam War, known as "Blue Water" veterans for their service in waters off the coast, who were exposed to
the powerful toxin Agent Orange will be eligible to receive disability and health care benefits they have earned for diseases linked to Agent Orange exposure.
The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act would clarify existing law so that Blue Water veterans would be fully covered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) if they served within the "territorial seas," or approximately 12 miles offshore,
of Vietnam. The bill would make it easier for the VA to process Vietnam War veterans' claims for service-connected conditions and alleviate a portion of the VA's backlog by reinstating presumptive coverage of Agent Orange benefits to these veterans.
Pushed for health care for the 9/11 first responders
Kaine joined 35 Senate colleagues in pushing Congress to pass a full and permanent extension of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. It would extend the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program, which provides medical treatment and medical
monitoring for 9/11-related illnesses for 9/11 first responders and injured survivors.
"The thousands that continue to suffer from long-term health effects of 9/11 represent one of the lingering tragedies of that day," said Kaine. "This Act represents
our continued commitment to honor the first responders and care for the survivors of that terrible day."
Facts on the WTC Health Program and Sept. 11th Victims Compensation Fund:
More than 33,000 responders and survivors have at least one illness
More than 72,000 responders and survivors receive medical monitoring.
The Victims Compensation Fund has provided compensation to 6,285 injured 9/11 individuals eligible for compensation.
Do more to expedite transferring Guantanamo detainees out
I expect the Senate to have a vigorous debate about the future of the detention facility at Guantanamo when we take up the Defense Authorizing bill in September.
In order to inform myself, I went there last Friday with Virginia Congressmen Frank Wolf, Jim Moran and Gerry Connolly. We had a full tour and it provided necessary context for the debate ahead.
I was glad that our visit coincided with the Administration announcing the transfer of two detainees to Algeria.
I believe we need to do more to expedite such transfers and look forward to working with my colleagues on the right solutions in the days ahead.
Voted to reform the PATRIOT act but can't just let it expire
Kaine discussed his vision for the U.S. role regarding ISIL and other threats. The senator renewed his call for Congress to address provisions of the Patriot Act that are scheduled to expire June 1.
Three portions of the PATRIOT act, including one that allows the government to conduct massive sweeps of telephone call records, would expire unless
Congress takes some action when it reconvenes in a few days. "We cannot just let the PATRIOT Act just expire. I voted for a reform of the PATRIOT Act that didn't pass," Kaine said. "We can't let those security statutes just expire.
We need to take care of some of the problems and reform them. We're going back early to continue that debate."
Source: Bristol Herald Courier, "U.S. role in ISIL," by David McGee
, May 26, 2015
Power given president after 9/11 too broad
Senator John McCain and I want a better process for the initiation of military action. Our bill [that defines going to war] would not include humanitarian efforts, and it would also not include covert activities.
Covert activities are covered by separate parts of the law that we don't propose to rewrite now. The authorization for war in the aftermath of 9/11 empowered the President to take steps to defeat those who were culpable for 9/11, or their affiliates.
That has been interpreted broadly by the Bush and Obama administrations. The drone strikes in Yemen are being conducted as part of a larger campaign premised on a declaration of war that is valid.
Here we are 13 years later. There was no geographic limitation on it, and there was no limitation put on it. I think it's too open-ended.
More than a dozen years after Congress authorized the use of military force against nations, groups or individuals involved in or aiding the perpetrators of the 9/11, attacks, Sen. Kaine said it's time to rethink that declaration, saying: "The Bush and
the Obama administrations have said, 'If a group pops up that affiliates with al-Qaida, even if they had nothing to do with 9/11, this authorization [still applies]." Kaine said new scrutiny would likely lead to reconsiderations of the Patriot Act.
Source: Kaine's Senate office press release, "Limits on Terror War"
, Jan 27, 2014
Budget cuts made us vulnerable to Libya embassy attack
On foreign policy, Kaine noted that U.S. military and Virginia National Guard forces don't have to deploy as often for the war on terror, thanks to past successes against Al-Qaeda and other terror linked groups.
Kaine then attacked the House budget proposal which cut money for embassy security, and linked it to Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican Vice-Presidential nominee.
Allen noted that the attacked on U.S. embassies last month are examples of why sequestration is dangerous. Allen also singled out
U.S. foreign aid for Egypt, saying he did not think a dollar should be sent there until the country's leaders prove they're going to support the ongoing effort against terror.
We must fight to maintain America's strong tradition of religious liberty,
where people are free to worship or not as they choose without government preference or punishment.
Source: 2012 Senate campaign website, kaineforva.com
, Oct 9, 2012
Let Bush tax cuts expire instead of automatic defense cuts
Both candidates railed against automatic defense cuts scheduled to begin in January unless Congress intervenes. But Kaine laid out a list of alternatives: Allow Bush-era tax cuts to expire on households earning at least $500,000, repeal tax breaks for
oil and gas companies, and allow the federal government to bargain for lower prescription drug prices for Medicare. With those changes, Congress would have only $23 billion more cuts to shut off the so-called "sequester"--or automatic cuts, he said.
Allen, who has made those defense cuts the centerpiece of his campaign of late, offered only vague solutions. He said repealing President Obama's health care law would help, although the
Congressional Budget Office says repeal would raise the deficit over 10 years, not lower it. "The men and women in our armed forces should never be used as bargaining chips to raise taxes on job-creating small businesses," he said.
Radtke said "we need someone who is going to focus on cutting spending in these serious times."
Allen said the economy was out of control "because of the overspending, over-regulating . big government policies of
President Obama, Tim Kaine and the Washington liberals."
Immediately after the debate, a Kaine spokeswoman criticized the Republican candidates, saying a balanced approach was needed on economic issues: "The
Republican all-cuts approach would not only leave programs like TRICARE, veterans job training, and national defense vulnerable,
but their gridlock politics will fundamentally jeopardize military preparedness and economic growth."
Repeal "Don't Ask Don't Tell": let gays serve in military
Kaine said, "People like to ding the president on that word 'evolving' but the answer is, it's exactly what's happening in society." Kaine did support repealing the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" law prohibiting openly gay people from serving
in the military. And he noted that public attitudes on the overall topic were shifting, so much so that if the gay marriage amendment were on the Virginia ballot again, the vote would most likely be a lot closer. (It passed 57 to 43 in 2006.)
Source: Washington Post on 2016 Veepstakes
, May 8, 2012
Troop Talent Act: ease transition to civilian careers
One of Tim's favorite parts about serving in the Senate is getting to represent Virginia on the Armed Services Committee. Virginia is home to the world's largest naval base, more than 25 military installations, thousands of servicemembers and
their families, and our nation's best shipbuilders and defense contractors.
Tim came to the Senate determined to help reduce unemployment among our nation's veterans. His first bill, the Troop Talent Act, made improvements to credentialing to ease
the transition from active duty service to civilian careers. The idea for the legislation came from Tim's conversations with veterans who had encountered private sector employers who were unfamiliar with the skills they had
developed during military training and how they would translate to the civilian workforce. One of the few Senators with a child serving in the military, Tim is a consistent advocate for military families on the Armed Services Committee.
Tim supports the Department of Defense's decision to open all combat roles to women. He made news in 2015 by publicly highlighting the unacceptable lack of women on a
panel focused on military compensation, arguing that women must be at the leadership table for policy discussions that impact servicemembers and their families.
Source: Virginia 2012 Senate campaign website KaineForVA.com
, Feb 29, 2012
Thankful that torture is a foreign policy instrument no more
Q: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she was never actually briefed about the use of interrogation techniques like waterboarding. She accuses the Bush administration of misleading the Congress. Why does this matter in the overall debate over "torture"?
KAINE: I think the real issue is thank goodness we have a president and a Congress who are stating clearly torture is no longer an instrument of foreign policy of this nation. That's what really matters, that we've turned the page, we've said that
torture is not an instrument of foreign policy.
Q: But Democrats don't want to turn page; they want accountability for Bush administration figures.
KAINE: There are some who would like to get into what happened in meetings five or six years ago.
The president has made pretty plain: we've got to move forward. Their accountability is important, but the most important thing is getting this right: torture is no longer going to be used.
Source: Interview by David Gregory on Meet the Press
, May 17, 2009
Expand job benefits for members of the Virginia Guard
This session, we can show our gratitude by working together to better serve those who serve us. I've offered legislation to expand benefits and job protection for members of the Virginia Guard who serve critical state
missions at the request of the Governor. We should also expand benefits for family members of active duty personnel who are disabled or killed in service to their country.
Source: 2007 State of the State address to Virginia Assembly
, Jan 10, 2007
Focus on counter-terrorism and bioterrorism preparedness
The Kaine administration will be particularly focused on maintaining and enhancing the state’s counter-terrorism and homeland security efforts. Lieutenant Governor Kaine serves on the Secure Virginia emergency response panel and has gained crucial
experience in the preparation for terrorist attacks and bio-terrorist viral outbreaks. Tim Kaine is proud that Virginia ranked among the top states nationally for bioterrorism preparedness in the recent report from Trust for America’s Health.
Tim Kaine is a member of the Virginia Commission on Military Bases, the Commonwealth’s response to the federal base-closing efforts. He understands the importance of the military presence in Virginia to our safety and our economy.
Tim Kaine is working to protect Virginia’s military installations and fighting against the removal of any of the aircraft carrier groups assigned to Norfolk.
Respect sequestration on defense budget without gimmicks.
Kaine voted YEA National Defense Authorization Act
HR 1735 authorizes appropriations and sets forth policies regarding military construction for all military branches. This bill also authorizes appropriations for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), which are exempt from discretionary spending limits, in the amount of $89.2 billion. Other spending authorized:
$16 billion: Total Aircraft Procurement, Navy
$16 billion: Total Shipbuilding & Conversion, Navy
$16 billion: Total Aircraft Procurement, Air Force
$19 billion: Total Major Equipment Air Force
$107 billion: Total Procurement
$70 billion: Total Research, Development, Test & Eval
$138 billion: Total Operation & Maintenance
Veto message from President Obama (Oct. 7):
While there are provisions in this bill that I support, this bill fails to authorize funding for our national defense in a fiscally responsible manner. It underfunds our military in the base budget, and instead relies on an irresponsible budget gimmick that has been criticized by members of both parties. Specifically, the bill's use of Overseas Contingency Operations funding--which was meant to fund wars and is not subject to budget caps--does not provide the stable, multi-year budget upon which sound defense planning depends. Because this bill authorizes base budget funding at sequestration levels, it threatens the readiness and capabilities of our military.
Legislative outcome: NDAA passed House 270-156-8 Oct. 1; passed Senate 70-27-3 Oct. 7; vetoed with no override, Oct. 22.
Source: Supreme Court case 15-S-H1735 argued on Oct 7, 2015
Exempt Veterans Affairs from federal hiring freeze.
Kaine signed exempting Veterans Affairs from federal hiring freeze
Excerpts from Letter from 53 Senators to President Trump We are deeply troubled that your freeze on the hiring of federal civilian employees will have a negative and disproportionate impact on our nation's veterans. As such, we urge you to take stock of this hiring freeze's effect on our nation's veterans and exempt the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from your Hiring Freeze.
Have you considered how this hiring freeze will affect VA's ability to provide veterans with access to health care?
How it will affect VA's ability to decide on appeals for disability compensation?
How it will impact those veterans who apply to federal jobs?
We urge you to classify VA's delivery of health care as a national security and public safety responsibility, and exempt it from this hiring freeze. To do otherwise is to jeopardize the national security and public safety of our nation.
Opposing argument: (Heritage Foundation, "Eliminate Redundant
Government Hiring," May 9, 2017): It's not hard to find federal programs that are duplicative or ineffective. The president's executive order requires all agency heads to submit plans for reorganizing their operations. Their proposals are to "include recommendations to eliminate unnecessary agencies and programs." That all sounds great, but what does it actually mean?
Well, for starters, it means the previous federal hiring freeze is no more. But it doesn't mean programs and departments are free to hire willy-nilly. Instead, they've been instructed to follow a smart-hiring plan, consistent with the President's America First Budget Blueprint.
A few agencies, like the Defense Department and Veterans Affairs, will beef up staff. Most, however, will have to pare down employment. All federal employees can expect to see resources shift to higher-priority ones. Many may be asked to do something new or different with the goal of optimizing employees' skills and time.