The Persian Gulf War Resolution

January 12, 1991

{The following resolution, House Joint Resolution 77, was adopted by the House of Representatives by a vote of 250 to 183. The Senate approved the measure (originally introduced as Senate Joint Resolution 2) by a vote of 52 to 47.}


To authorize the use of United States Armed Forces pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 678.

Whereas the Government of Iraq without provocation invaded and occupied the territory of Kuwait on August 2, 1990; and

            Whereas both the House of Representatives ... and the Senate ... have condemned Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait and declared their support for international action to reverse Iraq’s aggression; and

            Whereas, Iraq’s conventional, chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs and its demonstrated willingness to use weapons of mass destruction pose a grave threat to world peace; and

            Whereas the international community has demanded that Iraq withdraw unconditionally and immediately from Kuwait and that Kuwait’s independence and legitimate government be restored; and

            Whereas the U.N. Security Council repeatedly affirmed the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense in response to the armed attack by Iraq against Kuwait in accordance with Article 51 of the U.N. Charter; and

            Whereas, in the absence of full compliance by Iraq with its resolutions, the U.N. Security Council in Resolution 678 has authorized member states of the United Nations to use all necessary means, after January 15, 1991, to uphold and implement all relevant Security Council resolutions and to restore international peace and security in the area; and

            Whereas Iraq has persisted in its illegal occupation of, and brutal aggression against, Kuwait: Now, therefore be it

            Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

Section 1. Title. This joint resolution may be cited as the “Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution.”

            Section 2. Authorization for Use of United States Armed Forces

(a) AUTHORIZATION. The President is authorized, subject to subsection (b), to use United States Armed Forces pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 (1990) in order to achieve implementation of Security Council Resolutions 660, 661, 662, 664, 665, 666, 667, 669, 670, 674, and 677.

(b) REQUIREMENT FOR DETERMINATION THAT USE OF MILITARY FORCE IS NECESSARY. Before exercising the authority granted in subsection (a), the President shall make available to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate his determination that---

(1)    the United States has used all appropriate diplomatic and other peaceful means to obtain compliance by Iraq with the United Nations Security Council resolutions cited in subsection (a); and

(2)    that those efforts have not been successful in obtaining such compliance.


            (1) SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION. Consistent with section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution, the Congress declares that this section is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution.

            (2) APPLICABILITY OF OTHER REQUIREMENTS. Nothing in this resolution supersedes any requirement of the War Powers Resolution.

            Section 4. Reports to Congress.

            At least once every 60 days, the President shall submit to the Congress a summary on the status of efforts to obtain compliance by Iraq with the resolutions adopted by the United Nations Security Council in response to Iraq’s aggression.