Public Papers

Statement on Signing the Resolution Authorizing the Use of Military Force Against Iraq


Today I am signing H.J. Res. 77, the ``Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution.'' By passing H.J. Res. 77, the Congress of the United States has expressed its approval of the use of U.S. Armed Forces consistent with U.N. Security Council Resolution 678. I asked the Congress to support implementation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 678 because such action would send the clearest possible message to Saddam Hussein that he must withdraw from Kuwait without condition or delay. I am grateful to those of both political parties who joined in the expression of resolve embodied in this resolution. To all, I emphasize again my conviction that this resolution provides the best hope for peace.

The debate on H.J. Res. 77 reflects the profound strength of our constitutional democracy. In coming to grips with the issues at stake in the Gulf, both Houses of Congress acted in the finest traditions of our country. This resolution provides unmistakable support for the international community's determination that Iraq's ongoing aggression against, and occupation of, Kuwait shall not stand. As I made clear to congressional leaders at the outset, my request for congressional support did not, and my signing this resolution does not, constitute any change in the long-standing positions of the executive branch on either the President's constitutional authority to use the Armed Forces to defend vital U.S. interests or the constitutionality of the War Powers Resolution. I am pleased, however, that differences on these issues between the President and many in the Congress have not prevented us from uniting in a common objective. I have had the benefit of extensive and meaningful consultations with the Congress throughout this crisis, and I shall continue to consult closely with the Congress in the days ahead.

George Bush

The White House,

January 14, 1991.

Note: H.J. Res. 77, approved January 14, was assigned Public Law No. 102 - 1.