WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush asked Congress Thursday for authority to use military force to disarm and overthrow Iraq's Saddam Hussein, saying the United States will take action on its own if the U.N. Security Council balks.
The president was sending to Capitol Hill his proposed wording for a resolution that he wants Congress to approve before lawmakers adjourn to campaign for the Nov. 5 elections.
"That will be part of the resolution -- authorization to use force. If you want to keep the peace, you've got to have the authorization to use force," Bush told reporters in the Oval Office.
"This is a chance for Congress to indicate support, a chance for Congress to say we support the administration's ability to keep the peace, that's what this is all about."
House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, said that in the past Bush "has been very respectful of the prerogatives of Congress" and would likely give Congress a draft that outlines his major points.
"He will expect us to make the formal drafts," Armey said.
Bush spoke to journalists after meeting with Secretary of State Colin Powell on his uphill diplomatic work to draft a United Nations Security Council resolution against Iraq that could overcome strong reservations by Russia and France, who have veto power in the Security Council.
"The United Nations Security Council must work with the United States and other concerned parties to send a clear message that we expect Saddam to disarm," Bush said.
"And if the United Nations Security Council won't deal with the problem, the United States and some of our friends will."
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