Democrat Tim Kaine 'Troubled' by Biden Administration's Lack of Response to Israel Situation

Virginia Democratic Senator Tim Kaine said he's "troubled" by the Biden administration not calling for an immediate cease-fire between Israelis and Palestinians, saying he will continue to do so in the Senate regardless of the president's approach.

Kaine, who sits on the U.S. Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees, criticized the country's decision to veto United Nations Security Council resolutions calling for a cease-fire across Gaza. The former 2016 Democratic vice presidential nominee was pressed by MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell Tuesday to explain why President Joe Biden hasn't pushed for an immediate cease-fire amid growing civilian casualties.

"I called for a cease-fire right away because that's what the United States does," Kaine replied when asked if Biden is doing enough to address the violence in Gaza. "When there is a shooting war where innocent kids on both sides are being killed, we always aggressively ask for a cease-fire."

"Let's not just say we have an opinion about a cease-fire and actually do something about it," Kaine added, criticizing the U.S. vetoes in the U.N.

"You said that's what the U.S. does, but that's not what this administration is doing," Mitchell pressed Kaine.

"I'm troubled by that. I have spoken with the White House at the beginning and the middle part of last week about this, and I'm going to continue to do that," the Virginia Democrat replied.

"I know they are looking for a path to peace for calm, that's what Secretary [Antony] Blinken said. But I, again, I just think that the U.S. is usually at the front edge of calling for a cease-fire. At Yemen we called for a cease-fire. In Afghanistan we called for a cease-fire. So that's what we should do...I hope the administration may lean in heavier but whether they do or whether they don't, I'm on the Armed Services and Foreign Committees and I am going to say loudly that there ought to be a cease-fire," Kaine continued.

Washington political strategists say Biden is caught between competing congressional stances from members of both parties. On one side, demanding a cease-fire could be seen as a rejection of Israel as the country's longtime regional ally. And on the other end, Democrats largely have called for a recalibration of the party's stance toward Israel and have increasingly encouraged more support for Palestinians and a rebuke of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Kaine said he wants to see the civilian casualty risk be dealt with before finding a "better path forward."

Newsweek reached out to Kaine's office as well as the White House for additional remarks and reaction Tuesday afternoon.

tim kaine joe biden
U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) (L) participates in a reenacted swearing-in with his wife Anne Bright Holton and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden in the Old Senate Chamber at the U.S. Capitol January 3, 2013 in Washington, DC. Biden swore in the newly-elected and re-elected senators earlier in the day on the floor of the current Senate chamber. CHIP SOMODEVILLA / Staff/Getty Images