Divided debate on a foregone conclusion

Isaacs, John
March 1991
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists;Mar1991, Vol. 47 Issue 2, p3
This article looks at the Congressional debate over the Gulf War. A number of ironies underlay the congressional debate on the Persian Gulf crisis leading up to the January 12 Senate and House votes for war. The War of 1812, which 40 percent of the Senate and 38 percent of the House opposed, was the last time that Congress had been markedly divided about going to war see table, page 4. Majority Leader George Mitchell of Maine pledged a vote before the January 15 deadline but feared, correctly, that the vote would back the president's policy. Senior moderates such as Lloyd Bentsen of Texas, Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, and the Senate's president pro tem, Robert Byrd of West Virginia, united with the Mitchell team. The letter was rushed to the Senate floor by Virginia's John Warner, an ardent Republican backer of the president, to counter arguments that sanctions were working. INSET: CONGRESSIONAL VOTES ON WAR..


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