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Congressional Reaction to Bush Speech

Members of Congress on President Bush's speech on Iraq:

Sen. Bob Smith, R-N.H.:

"We must unify behind our commander in chief, and support him in whatever mission he feels we need to conduct to protect American lives and national security. I fought in the Vietnam War, and I know what it's like to have people protesting at home during the war. We should not let that happen again."

Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del.:

"President Bush made a compelling case that the combination of Saddam Hussein and weapons of mass destruction poses a growing threat to our national security. ... I expect that a large majority of senators will vote to authorize the president to use force, if necessary, to enforce the U.N. Security Council's demands."

Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas:

"If the quality of his evidence matched the quality of his oratory, I'd be 'ready to roll.' But his repeated references to 9/11, despite his advisers' admission that no such link to this terrorism exists, show how very weak the case for war now really is. My concern is that a near-unilateral land invasion of Iraq will endanger thousands of young Americans now while exposing our families to terrorism for years to come in what will be perceived by too many as a new crusade against Islam."

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas:

"I think he brought in 'Why now?' He talked about the satellite photos that shows that he's rebuilding the nuclear plants. He talked about the unmanned aerial vehicles that can be brought in containers, in small containers, in airplanes or ships, along with chemical weapons we know he has and distributed throughout America ... so I think the threat and the immediacy was brought home tonight."

Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio:

"The administration has failed to make a case for a unilateral and pre-emptive strike on Iraq. War is simply a failure of diplomacy. The United States must continue to work with the international community to ensure that weapons inspectors are allowed into Iraq. The Administration's stated policy of 'regime change' is counterproductive to efforts to disarm Iraq and restore stability to the region."

Rep. J.C. Watts, R-Okla.:

"Kudos to the president for taking the case to the American people.The more the president does that, the more the American people will agree that Saddam Hussein and his efforts to build weapons of mass destruction pose a threat to the freedoms and way of life enjoyed by everyone in our nation."

Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo.:

"Getting rid of Saddam Hussein is just half the battle. ... History will more greatly record not how you got rid of Saddam Hussein, but history will record chapter and verse on what happened to Iraq, and the Middle East, after he's gone. It could flower up into a nightmare, or it could be a stable situation."

Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas:

"As the president made clear, America cannot and will not stand idle as the cancer of Saddam's brutal regime metastasizes and threatens our interests."

Sen. John Warner, R-Va., on CNN's "Larry King Live":

"This is not the United States against the people of Iraq. As the president said, it is the world struggling to preserve its freedoms for this generation and future generations. It is better that it is the world that is bringing the end to Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction, rather than just the United States."

Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., on "Larry King Live":

"We ought not be voting on this now. We ought to go home and see what the American people want ... Here, we're being asked to make this decision in an atmosphere that is super-charged with partisan politics."

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich.:

"The question which Congress is faced with is whether the United States should decide not it will 'go it alone,' to act unilaterally against Iraq, at the same time we are trying to get from the United Nations a tough new resolution, which authorizes member states to use military force to enforce the UN resolution."