A while back, I emailed Robert Torricelli, Douglas Forrester and Bill Pascrell asking how they would vote on an Iraq resolution. Torricelli turned out to be too busy deciding to get out of the Senate race to respond. Forrester turned out to be too busy to respond, period. Bill Pascrell, on the other hand, responded with what I felt was an evasion. So I asked him again. A new response has been received. As promised, my exciting correspondence with a real Congressman:
Dear Mr. Gage:
Thank you for contacting me regarding the Iraq resolution. I appreciate hearing from you and welcome the opportunity to respond.
On October 10, I voted to approve the Congressional resolution granting the President the authority to use force against Iraq if he deems it necessary to protect our national security. This was a very difficult decision, which I arrived at after careful and thorough deliberation.
I do not view the resolution as a declaration of war from Congress. As a result of bipartisan negotiations, the resolution advises the President to seek Iraqi compliance through the U.N. Security Council. It also requires that the President submit a determination to Congress, before using force, that further diplomatic means will not protect national security. In addition, the resolution mandates that the President regularly consult with Congress thereafter.
There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein has biological and chemical weapons at his disposal. Ultimately, I believe that the Congress had to unite behind its Commander-in-Chief to protect the security of all Americans against a deadly threat. I urge you to read my remarks on the resolution from the House debate which you can access at www.pascrell.house.gov/issues2.cfm?id=3699.
Well, I suppose I shouldn't complain. First, he responded, and second he voted in favor of the resolution. But I don't think that the waffling about the resolution not being a declaration of war (the last one of which was passed in December,1941) and all the nonsense about the requirements imposed on the President will carry much weight with the anti-war crowd.
Oh, and by the way, I added the link to the URL provided in the letter, proving, I suppose, that I am slightly less technologically challenged than my Congressman.