Four years after they first linked arms — forging an unlikely alliance to claw back war powers in Iraq — Democrats’ ex-vice presidential nominee and Republicans’ former Senate campaigns chief are closing in on victory.
It was hardly a given that Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.) would finally notch the votes and time they needed for the Senate to formally repeal Congress’ 1991 and 2002 authorizations for military action in Iraq. After all, Washington is still adjusting to divided government, and the majority of the Senate GOP leadership team continues to oppose repealing the war powers approval.
But senators in both parties credited Kaine and Young’s relentless, member-by-member lobbying push as critical to the 66-30 repeal vote on Wednesday. The slow start to Senate legislating under a divided Congress, as well as a war-weary U.S. public, also helped pave the way for a repeal vote that persuaded Republican supporters across the party’s ideological spectrum to break from party leaders.
“Congress needs to own these responsibilities. Having a good bipartisan colleague on this just makes the difference,” Kaine said.