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Glossary: Iraq War Resolution


Definition: The joint resolution by the U.S. House and Senate, formally known as the Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq, authorized the president to use force against Iraq "as he determines to be necessary and appropriate." While far from a declaration of war, the White House and Congress interpreted the resolution as a green light for the invasion of Iraq, launched five months later (on March 19, 2003). Both the House and Senate overwhelmingly approved the Resolution in October 2002.

The House passed the measure on Oct. 10 by a vote of 296-133, with three members of the House not voting. The vote in favor of the resolution included 215 Republicans and 81 Democrats, with six Republicans, 126 Democrats and one Independent voting against.

The Senate passed the resolution on Oct. 11 by a vote of 77-23, with 48 Republicans and 29 Democrats in favor. Voting against the measure were 21 Democrats, one Republican and one Independent.

Among those voting for the resolution were U.S. Sens. Joe Biden, John Edwards, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Christopher Dodd, John McCain and Fred Thompson, all of whom were running for the presidency in 2008.

President Bush signed the resolution into law on Oct. 16, 2002.

Also Known As: Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq.
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