November 17th, 2009
01:19 PM ET

Noteworthy Senate debates throughout U.S. history

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/11/17/senate.debates/t1larg.capitol1.gi.jpg caption="The Senate is set to begin debating the contentious health care reform bill." width=300 height=169]

Ed Hornick

The Senate is about to embark on what could be the showdown of the year as top Democrats work to push through sweeping health care legislation.

The legislative chamber, however, is no stranger to history-changing debate. Lawmakers need to look no further than their predecessors to see how it's done.


In 1991, Congress voted for the use of military force towards Iraq after the Saddam Hussein-led country went to war with Kuwait.

The action was the first time Congress voted for going to war since the Gulf of Tonkin resolution in 1964, which officially began U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.

The Senate vote in 1991, however, was much closer than the vote over Vietnam, illustrating a deep divide over whether to get involved.

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Filed under: Health Care • Raw Politics
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