CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Congressional Opinions Largely Unchanged After Bush Speech
Aired October 8, 2002 - 12:28 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Let's move on now, talk about what's happening on Capitol Hill. The Senate and House are debating resolutions today in the aftermath of the president's speech last night. A vote is expected in the House on Thursday and perhaps in the Senate by the end of this week as well.
The question is this, did the president's speech sway anyone on Capitol Hill, or were minds already made up?
CNN Congressional Correspondent Kate Snow is joining us now live from Capitol Hill -- Kate, what's the mood up there?
KATE SNOW, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, so far, the answer to the question is no evidence that minds were swayed. People who went into last night's speech convinced the president is right and needs this resolution are still convinced of that. Those on the other side who have concerns about military action in Iraq say they still have reservations. All those concerns being talked about on the House floor at this hour. Several Democrats getting up, talking about the consequences of using military force, saying those consequences haven't been fully considered.
One Democrat said this resolution would set a dangerous precedent, another said no nation, not even the United States, should be above the law. Over in the Senate, Senator Byrd, becoming a key critic of the president, a Democrat from West Virginia, saying that this resolution would be a big mistake.
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SEN. ROBERT BYRD (D), WEST VIRGINIA: He shall use all the military forces of this country in whatever way he is determined, wherever he determines, whenever he determines, and for as long as he determines.
That is the way it is written. Lock, stock and barrel. Congress might as well just close the doors, put a sign over the doors, and say "going fishing."
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SNOW: Now Senator Byrd is in the minority, though, Wolf. For the most part on the Senate floor today, we've heard support for the president, including Senator John McCain, Senator Joe Lieberman, and Senator Evan Bayh, a Democrat saying that much like what happened on September 11, if the U.S. waits, it may be too late -- back to you.
BLITZER: Kate Snow on Capitol Hill. Thanks very much.
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