Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 1991


Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 1991

The Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (short title) or Joint Resolution to authorize the use of United States Armed Forces pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 (official title), was the United States Congress's January 12, 1991 authorization of the use of U.S. military force in the Gulf War.

President George H. W. Bush requested a Congressional joint resolution on January 8, 1991, one week before the January 15, 1991 deadline issued to Iraq specified by the November 29, 1991 United Nations Security Council Resolution 678. President Bush had deployed over 500,000 U.S. troops without Congressional authorization to Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf region in the preceding five months in response to Iraq's August 2, 1990 invasion of Kuwait. President Bush said that as Commander-in-Chief he did not need Congressional authorization to use military force against Iraq and that his request for a Congressional joint resolution was merely a courtesy to Congress.

The Text of the Bill

"To authorize the use of United States Armed Forces pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 678.

Whereas the Government of Iraq without provocation invaded and occupied the territory of Kuwait on August 2, 1990;

Whereas both the House of Representatives (in H.J. Res . 658 of the 101st Congress) and the Senate (in S. Con. Res . 147 of the 101st Congress) have condemned Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and declared their support for international action to reverse Iraq's aggression;

Whereas, Iraq's conventional, chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs and its demonstrated willingness to use weapons of mass destruction pose a grave threat to world peace;

Whereas the international community has demanded that Iraq withdraw unconditionally and immediately from Kuwait and that Kuwait's independence and legitimate government be restored;

Whereas the United Nations Security Council repeatedly affirmed the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense in response to the armed attack by Iraq against Kuwait in accordance with Article 51 of the United Nations Charter;

Whereas, in the absence of full compliance by Iraq with its resolutions, the United Nations Security Council in Resolution 678 has authorized member states of the United Nations to use all necessary means, after January 15, 1991, to uphold and implement all relevant Security Council resolutions and to restore international peace and security in the area; and

Whereas Iraq has persisted in its illegal occupation of, and brutal aggression against Kuwait: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This joint resolution may be cited as the `Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution'.

SEC. 2. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.

(a) AUTHORIZATION- The President is authorized, subject to subsection (b), to use United States Armed Forces pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 (1990) in order to achieve implementation of Security Council Resolutions 660, 661, 662, 664, 665, 666, 667, 669, 670, 674, and 677.

(b) REQUIREMENT FOR DETERMINATION THAT USE OF MILITARY FORCE IS NECESSARY- Before exercising the authority granted in subsection (a), the President shall make available to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate his determination that--

(1) the United States has used all appropriate diplomatic and other peaceful means to obtain compliance by Iraq with the United Nations Security Council resolutions cited in subsection (a); and

(2) that those efforts have not been and would not be successful in obtaining such compliance.

(c) War Powers Resolution Requirements-

(1) SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION- Consistent with section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution, the Congress declares that this section is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution.

(2) APPLICABILITY OF OTHER REQUIREMENTS- Nothing in this resolution supersedes any requirement of the War Powers Resolution.

SEC. 3. REPORTS TO CONGRESS.

At least once every 60 days, the President shall submit to the Congress a summary on the status of efforts to obtain compliance by Iraq with the resolutions adopted by the United Nations Security Council in response to Iraq's aggression."

Passage

Senate Joint Resolution 2 was approved in the United States Senate on January 12, 1991 by a vote of 52 to 47.
* S.J.Res.2 was sponsored by Sen. John Warner (R-VA) with 34 cosponsors -- 29 Republicans and 5 Democrats (Sens. Howell Heflin (D-AL), Bennett Johnston (D-LA), Joe Lieberman (D-CT), Chuck Robb (D-VA), Richard Shelby (D-AL)).
* Approved 52-47 at 2:44 PM EST on Saturday, January 12, 1991.
** Democrats: 10-45. 10 (18%) of 56 Democratic Senators voted for the resolution: Sens. John Breaux (D-LA), Richard Bryan (D-NV), Al Gore (D-TN), Bob Graham (D-FL), Howell Heflin (D-AL), Bennett Johnston (D-LA), Joe Lieberman (D-CT), Harry Reid (D-NV), Chuck Robb (D-VA), Richard Shelby (D-AL).
*** Sen. Alan Cranston (D-CA) was recovering from surgery and did not vote, but would have voted against the resolution.
** Republicans: 42-2. Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Mark Hatfield (R-OR) voted against the resolution.

House Joint Resolution 77 was approved in the United States House of Representatives on January 12, 1991 by a vote of 250 to 183, then approved in the Senate by unanimous consent.
* H.J.Res.77 was sponsored by House Minority Leader Bob Michel (R-IL) with 31 cosponsors -- 14 Republicans and 17 Democrats (Reps. Ackerman (D-NY), Aspin (D-WI), Berman (D-CA), Fascell (D-FL), Lantos (D-CA), Laughlin (R-TX), Levine (D-CA), Lloyd (D-TN), McCurdy (D-OK), McMillen (D-MD), Montgomery (D-MS), Murtha (D-PA), Skelton (D-MO), Solarz (D-NY), Stenholm (D-TX), Torricelli (D-NJ), Volkmer (D-MO)).
* Approved: 250-183 at 3:51 PM EST on Saturday, January 12, 1991.
** Democrats: 86-179. 86 (32%) of 267 Democratic Representatives voted for the resolution.
*** Reps. Mervyn Dymally (D-CA) and Mo Udall (D-AZ) were ill and did not vote, but would have voted against the resolution.
** Republicans: 164-3. Reps. Silvio Conte (R-MA), Connie Morella (R-MD), Frank Riggs (R-CA) voted against the resolution.
** Independent: 0-1. Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) voted against the resolution.

House Joint Resolution 77 was signed by President George H. W. Bush on January 14, 1991 and became Public Law No: 102-1.

External references

* [http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d102:HJ00077:@@@L&summ2=m& Library of Congress bill summary]


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