Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Top GOP Senator Heightens Call for Special Session on Gulf 45 Lawmakers Sue Bush to Ensure Congress OKs Use of Troops. CAPITOL HILL

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Top GOP Senator Heightens Call for Special Session on Gulf 45 Lawmakers Sue Bush to Ensure Congress OKs Use of Troops. CAPITOL HILL

Article excerpt

CONCERN continues to rise in Congress that President Bush has not adequately prepared the American people for the prospect of war in the Middle East. The latest expression of concern comes from Sen. Richard Lugar (R) of Indiana, an influential member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and its former chairman.

Like several other leading members of Congress, Senator Lugar adds that explaining the situation to the public is not of itself enough and that Congress ought to be called back into session early next month to debate United States policy in the Gulf. Mr. Bush and the top Democratic leaders in the House and Senate oppose a special session. Hearings scheduled for next month by several congressional committees do not substitute for a full congressional debate, Lugar says.

Forty-five members of Congress are not waiting for hearings or debates: Led by Ronald Dellums (D) of California, they filed suit Tuesday seeking to prevent President Bush from committing US forces to a Gulf war without congressional approval. The suit centers on the war-powers clause of the US Constitution, which grants Congress the authority to declare war, rather than on the the War Powers Act of 1973, which prevents a president from keeping US forces in an area of imminent danger without congressional approval.

Senator Lugar says the world runs major risks unless the long-term threat Iraqi President Saddam Hussein poses to peace is stopped now, by military, diplomatic, or economic means.

"The president has to make the case that this is the time to stop the threat" that Saddam poses, Lugar told reporters at a Monitor breakfast.

Bush "should get to the heart of the matter," he said, "... that the nuclear and chemical potential that they have must be controlled, if not destroyed.... The combination here is a deadly one - the nuclear and chemical potential combined with a leadership that is fully prepared to use it. …

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