Approval Is Seen for Military Action Against Iraq


WASHINGTON, Sept. 22 Congress will soon pass a resolution giving President Bush power to take military action against Iraq, Republicans and Democrats predicted today, but Democrats called for some refinements. "It's much too broad," Senator Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan and the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said on "Fox News Sunday."

"There's no limit at all on presidential powers," Mr. Levin said. "It's not even limited to Iraq."

Henry J. Hyde, the Illinois Republican who is chairman of the House International Relations Committee, said on "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer" on CNN that he was "personally satisfied" with the draft resolution's language, but that "it's going to go through a markup process" in his committee, possibly this week.

Members of each party said that they would prefer that the Bush administration get a resolution from the United Nations Security Council authorizing military action against Iraq. But several said that they would not make American action conditional on U.N. approval.

"We can never subject our security interests to the United Nations or the Security Council of the United Nations on the ground that somehow that's a moral objective force out there," Senator Jon Kyl, Republican of Arizona, said on "This Week" on ABC.

"That's a group of nations with their own self-interest," Mr. Kyl said, " just as we have our own self-interest."

But many of the lawmakers who appeared on the talk shows today said that the United Nations would pass a resolution despite doubts about military action by France and Russia, members of the Security Council with veto power. "I don't see a scenario where the Security Council doesn't at least give some kind of endorsement," Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, said on "Meet the Press."

Although some Democrats today objected to the draft resolution in its current form, none of the senators and representatives chosen for the Sunday talk shows opposed the idea of military action against Iraq.

Senator Joseph R. Biden, the Delaware Democrat who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, predicted a resolution that would "meet every need the administration has."

"That process is under way," Mr. Biden said on CNN. But referring to the draft sent to Congress last week, he said, "that won't be the language."

The White House draft listed 12 Security Council resolutions and said, "The president is authorized to use all means that he determines to be appropriate, including force, in order to enforce the United Nations Security Council Resolutions referenced above, defend the national security interests of the United States against the threat posed by Iraq, and restore international peace and security in the region."

On "Face the Nation" on CBS, Senator Richard C. Shelby, an Alabama Republican, said, "I believe that the Bush resolution is going to pass the Senate and the House by overwhelming numbers."

Senator Kyl, asked if the resolution constituted a "blank check," said, "I think it's entirely appropriate."

"The president needs the authority to do the things that we all know need to be done," Mr. Kyl said. "If you have a crimped set of words in there that have to be subject to interpretation or revisiting with subsequent resolutions, you don't have the authority that the president will need."