That’s how many members of the House and Senate voted on a 2002 resolution authorizing U.S. military operations in Iraq.
There are 143 current House members, or one-third of the current membership of 433, who voted on the Iraq war resolution 11 years ago. They broke 77 to 66 in favor, compared with 219 to 67 for everyone else. The House approved the resolution by 296 to 133.
Of the 100 current senators, 54 voted on the Iraq war resolution — including 32 who were senators at the time and 22 who were in the House. They were 38 to 16 in favor of authorizing war in Iraq, with the first group 23 to 9 in favor and senators who were House members 15 to 7 in favor. The Senate approved the resolution by 77 to 23.
Many members of Congress are citing Iraq, where U.S. military operations ended in December 2011 after about nine years of conflict, as a reason for opposing President Barack Obama’s plan for military airstrikes in Syria amid a civil war in the Middle East nation led by Bashar al-Assad.
Obama, in a nationally televised address to the nation Sept. 10, said the U.S. could not “resolve someone else’s civil war through force” after wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, though the president said he was proposing a targeted strike after Assad’s government used chemical weapons to kill more than 1,000 people.
“I will not pursue an open-ended action like Iraq or Afghanistan,” Obama said. “I will not pursue a prolonged air campaign like Libya or Kosovo. This would be a targeted strike to achieve a clear objective: deterring the use of chemical weapons and degrading Assad’s capabilities.”
Obama mentioned Iraq six times in his address.
He was not a U.S. senator yet in 2003, but spoke out before his election against the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
At Obama’s request, the Senate is delaying a vote on a strike against Syria to give the president “time and space” to pursue a diplomatic solution involving Russia, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said yesterday.