House of Representatives grants Bush authorization to attack Iraq
The House of Representatives on Thursday authorized war-making powers for President Bush. The 296-133 vote authorized Bush to work with the United Nations if possible, or alone if necessary, to disarm Saddam Hussein of his weapons of mass destruction. A majority of Democrats voted against the resolution even though their House leader, Dick Gephardt, was one of its authors.
"Mr. President we are about to give you a great trust," said Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas.
Following the approval, Bush said in a statement "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.
There are no other options for the Iraqi regime. There can be no negotiations. The days of Iraq acting as an outlaw state are coming to an end."
The Senate was prepared to act in chorus, rejecting by a 75-25 vote a bid by opponents to slow down a final vote and picking up the vital support of the Senate's top Democrat, Majority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota.
"It is only when the Iraqi dictator is certain of our willingness to wage war if necessary that peace becomes possible, said Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif.
According to AP, with Congress behind him, Bush will press his case with the United Nations Security Council that it must approve a tough new resolution holding Iraq to unfettered inspections and disarmament and promising force if Iraq does not comply.
House Democrats urged the president to work closely with the U.N. before making a decision to go it alone against Iraq. "Completely bypassing the U.N. would set a dangerous precedent that would undoubtedly be used by other countries in the future to our and the world's detriment," said Gephardt. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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