2. SOUNDBITE: (English) Dennis Hastert (Republican, Illinois), Speaker of the House of Representatives
"Ladies and Gentlemen of the Congress, I'd like to tell you at this time and for the information of all Members I am in receipt of a report from the President pursuant to the use of force resolution approved by the Congress last year. This report summarizes diplomatic and other peaceful means pursued by the United States cooperating with foreign countries and international organisations to obtain Iraqi compliance with all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq."
4. SOUNDBITE: (English) Dennis Hastert (Republican, Illinois), Speaker of the House of Representatives
"This is not a declaration that we are in any specific type of activity at this time. It is only the pursuit of the statute that was passed last year. Any further announcements will be shared with the Congress."
6. SOUNDBITE: (English) Representative Sam Johnson, (Republican,Texas)
"You know all eyes are on Iraq. Saddam has failed to provide credible evidence to back his bogus claims that he can completely disarm. Saddam won't tell us about his 26-thousand litres of anthrax, 36-thousand litres of dangerous toxins, 500-tons of sarin gas, mustard gas and VX nerve agents. Enough to kill millions of people. Saddam repeatedly declared he does not have any chemical or biological weapons. Yet he just released them to his men for use against our troops."
"On Saturday I had the opportunity to participate in a peace rally at public square in the city of Cleveland and I talked about patriotism. I talked about all those teachers in my high school and college years who said to me, understand the bill of rights, understand you have the right to protest, understand you have the right to assemble and understand you have a right to free speech. And my free speech allows me to say to the entire world, to the troops all over this country and all over the world, I support you ... I am patriotic. To the whole world, I still like peace. I want peace and I am opposed to the war in Iraq."
9. Wide view Pence at microphone
10. SOUNDBITE: (English) Representative Mike Pence (Republican, Indiana)
"Mr Speaker today is a solemn day. History awaits America tonight. And while I would never question the patriotism of anyone who would challenge the policy of US exercising their First Amendment Rights on this floor or in this nation, I will challenge the wisdom of those who say that we are come upon this moment because of diplomatic failure, we are come upon this moment because of a failure on the part of the president to lead the world towards consensus. Let us be clear Mr Speaker, the President did not fail, diplomacy did not fail, the United Nations failed."
11. Close-up police car parked outside Capitol building
War against Iraq will be as short as possible but Americans must be prepared for loss of life, the White House warned on Wednesday as the deadline neared for Saddam Hussein to flee.
The White House sent Congress formal notification of justification for war on Tuesday night and released details on Wednesday of a letter and report that, in compliance with a war resolution approved by lawmakers last year, outlined President Bush's rationale for military conflict.
The presidential letter said the Constitution gives the president authority to "take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001."
On Capitol Hill on Wednesday members of Congress were officially informed of the the failure of diplomacy to reach a resolution in Iraq.
The Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert said the letter from the White House did not indicate war is about to begin.
Republicans on the House floor condemned Saddam Hussein and supported President Bush's handling of the crisis.
Democrat Stephanie Tubbs Jones defended attending a peace rally over the weekend, saying protesting the war did not mean she did not support U-S troops.