“MR. PRESIDENT, we are about to give you a great trust,” said Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas.
At a news conference a short time later, Bush thanked lawmakers and said: “The House of Representatives has spoken clearly to the world and to the U.N. Security Council.”
Bush reiterated that Iraq “must disarm and comply with all existing resolutions or it will be forced to comply. There are no other options.”
The House vote was 296 to 133, a strong endorsement of Bush’s insistence that he will work with the United Nations if possible but alone if necessary to disarm Iraqi President Saddam Hussein of his weapons of mass destruction. A majority of Democrats voted against the resolution — even though their House leader, Dick Gephardt, was one of its authors.
Earlier, the last holdout among major Democratic congressional leaders, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, announced that he had put aside his misgivings and supported the Bush resolution, and the Senate moved toward a vote by the end of the day Friday.