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Congress Passes Iraq Use of Force Resolution
Iraq must now disarm and comply with U.N., says President Bush
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"By refusing to back the U.S.-British resolution they strengthen Saddam Hussein's resolve to offer resistance."
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Dateline: 10/11/02

The U.S. Congress yesterday passed a resolution authorizing President Bush to use the Armed Forces of the United States against Iraq.

The House of Representatives on Oct. 10 passed the resolution (H.J. Res. 114) by a vote of 296-133. Senate approval came in a late-night vote of 77-23.

Resolution Authorizes Use of Military Forces in Iraq
Specifically, the resolution authorizes President Bush to:

  • use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to--

    (1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and

    (2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.

Determining Need for Force
Before employing military force in Iraq, the resolution requires that the president first determine that continued diplomatic efforts "or other peaceful means alone," will not "adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq or is not likely to lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq."

President Must Notify Congress
The resolution also requires the president to notify Congress before or within 48 hours after actually committing military forces against Iraq.

President Must Report to Congress
The president is also required to report to Congress at least once every 60 days a report on all actions taken in relationship to the powers granted to him in the resolution and on any planning efforts regarding the potential use of military forces against Iraq.

President Reacts to Passage
In a brief statement following passage of the use of force resolution in the House, President Bush stated, ""The House of Representatives has spoken clearly to the world and to the United Nations Security Council. The gathering threat of Iraq must be confronted fully and finally. ... Today's vote also sends a clear message to the Iraqi regime: It must disarm and comply with all existing U.N. resolutions, or it will be forced to comply."

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