Past as prologue? How Senators voted on Iraq and Kosovo

Updated

The shadows of the 2002 vote to authorize military action in Iraq has certainly made many senators more hesitant as they debate whether to authorize use of force against Syria, but many of those same members ultimately voted for military action, believing the country had weapons of mass destruction. That vote has haunted several Senators for years, and many have said they wish they would have voted differently.

And before that, in 1999 when President Bill Clinton wanted authorization to attack the Serbian military in Kosovo, he got Senate approval, but launched strikes anyway before the House ultimately voted it down.

Now, several senators who even supported both strikes are more hesitant or even already against action in Syria. Some have couched their support – the normally hawkish John McCain has said he disagrees with the current Senate language because it is too limited. McCain voted for both Iraq and Kosovo operations.

Others already opposed, according to a whip count by the Washington Post, also supported past actions, in part. Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) both voted for Iraq but opposed Kosovo.

Among those leaning no, two of those in the Senate then also split on both campaigns – Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) voted for Iraq but against Kosovo, while only Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), who’s leaning no, voted in favor of both.

Some Democrats who have all indicated they would support military action once opposed one or both actions in Iraq and Kosovo. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) opposed Iraq intervention but voted to authorize Kosovo. The reverse was true for Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), who voted against Iraq but against Kosovo. And both Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calilf.), who have indicated they’ll support Syria, voted for both Iraq and Kosovo.

Perhaps most notable – now-Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel were all in the Senate during both votes – and all three voted in favor of both.

Below, we’ve compiled a list of how current senators voted then on both the 2002 Iraq authorization and in 1999 to authorize action in Kosovo.

Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq (HJ Res 114), Oct. 11, 2002

Yes:

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.)

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.)

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif).

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.)

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.)

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa)

Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho)

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kansas)

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.)

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine)

Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss).

Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont).

Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.)

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.)

Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.)

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.)

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.)

Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.)

No:

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill).

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.)

Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.)

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.)

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.)

Kosovo Resolution to Authorize Force (S.Con Res. 21, March 23 1999)

Yes:

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.)

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa)

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.)

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.)

Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.)

Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont).

Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.)

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore).

Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.)

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.)

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.)

No:

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.)

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)

Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Wyo.)

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kansas)

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine)

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.)

Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.)

**Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) did not vote**

Past as prologue? How Senators voted on Iraq and Kosovo

Updated