PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) visited Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth Tuesday to tour dry dock facilities, discuss current projects and walk the new Production Training Facility, where apprentice program graduates apply their skills.
Kaine, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, recently helped secure funding to support shipbuilding and other defense projects in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which was passed by the committee and is ready for a full vote before the full Senate.
After his visit, News 3 caught up with the senator to hear his thoughts on several issues, including Roe v. Wade being overturned, Tuesday's surprise Jan. 6 Committee hearing and the Russia-Ukraine war. Here's what he had to say:
Roe v. Wade
When asked about his reaction to the Supreme Court of the United States overturning Roe v. Wade Friday, Kaine said he wasn't surprised because of last month's leak of the draft opinion. He said what was shocking was a constitutional right being taken away.
"You know, the Supreme Court interprets law and reinterprets law - they do that. But the Supreme Court has granted rights... I mean, is there an instance in our history where a right that has been given constitutional protection has been taken away? A right that generations of women - really, all Americans - have relied upon? So, that was a shocker," the senator said.
Jan. 6 Committee hearings
Tuesday, the Jan. 6 Committee, which is investigating the 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol and trying to make a case that Former President Donald Trump's claim that the 2020 election was "stolen" led directly to the insurrection, held its sixth meeting on just a day's notice.
While Kaine said he didn't get a chance to watch the latest hearing, he recalled the day of the attack, saying it was "a day I'm never gonna forget." He was trapped in the building as Trump's supporters stormed it.
"These hearings are important to lay out how close we came to a cataclysm that day. And then patriots among us - elected officials and others - we gotta figure out what we do to guard this from ever happening again," he said.
Ukraine, Russia and the NATO Summit
Tuesday, the Associated Press reported that Turkey announced it has agreed to lift its opposition to Sweden and Finland joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which is regarded as a breakthrough in an impasse clouding a leaders’ summit in Madrid. Kaine said this is a "huge positive."
With Russia continuing to escalate its attacks on Ukraine, we asked the senator what more Congress is looking to do to not only prevent violence from spreading outside Ukraine but also to help its people.
"I think the work that we have done - the United States has done - to forge a coalition of democracies to stand up against illegal invasion has been very strong, and it has been effective because it's dramatically shrunk [Russian President Vladimir] Putin's war aims. He thought he would be able to topple Ukraine and basically take over the government in a matter of days," Kaine said, describing Putin as being "the best salesman for Ukrainian democracy and the best salesman for the value of NATO."
The senator said the U.S. has to keep providing Ukraine with support as their ally.