Congressional Support for Iraq War an Underwhelming Majority

Just how "overwhelming" was the Congressional vote to authorize war on Iraq? Historically speaking, it was a weak expression of support. Here's how the House and Senate voted on five U.S. declarations of war and four similar authorizing acts:

Sources: URL 1:; URL 2:,; URL 3:; San Francisco Chronicle, 10/11/02, page 1; 1942 World Almanac and Book of Facts, E. Eastman Irvine, ed., New York World-Telegram (Scripps-Howard), New York, 1942; 1991 World Almanac and Book of Facts, Mark S. Hoffman, ed., Pharos Books (Scripps Howard), 1990; The American Almanac: A Diary of America, Calvin D. Linton, Ph.D., ed., Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville and New York, 1977
Only once before have so many Representatives voted against such a declaration. Only the War of 1812 and Gulf War I (and in the Senate, the Spanish-American War) had less Congressional support.

(A version of this article posted earlier inadvertently reported a 1990 Congressional resolution supporting the first President Bush's initial response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. The revised table and text now report the Jan. 12, 1991, vote authorizing use of U.S. troops to support the U.N. resolution.)


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