ON THIS DAY IN UNITED STATES HISTORY
January 12, 1991
The United States Congress Authorizes the
Use of Military Force to Drive Iraq from Kuwait
On this day in 1991, the United States Congress authorized the use of military force to drive Iraq out of
Kuwait. The vote was 52 to 47 in the Senate and 250 to 183 in the House making it the closest vote to authorize
military force since the War of 1812.
The vote occured after several months of occupation of Kuwait by Iraq which began in August of 1990. According to
Iraq, they were justified in invading Kuwait due to several reasons, one of which was Kuwait's insistence on
increasing oil drilling. This depressed the price of oil at a time when Iraq was trying to pay off its war debts
from the Iraq-Iran war.