Continued from page 1

“I tell you what the real problem is, it’s too easy to start a war,” Mr. Paul said.

The 2001 authorization passed 420-1 in the House with Rep. Barbara Lee, California Democrat, the lone “No” vote.

On Wednesday she said time has proved her right.

“After a decade of open-ended war I encourage my colleagues to stand firm in asserting their constitutonal prerogatives,” she said.

At a time when bipartisan cooperation is tough to find in Congress, the strong show of support for Mr. Obama was stark.

Still, Republican leaders called the exercise a “waste of time,” and several said the vote came down to a decision between winning or retreating.

“This resolution could well be named the retreat and abandonment of our military resolution,” said Rep. Duncan Hunter, a California Republican who served two tours of duty in Iraq and one in Afghanistan as a Marine.

“It was worth it because I know in my heart what we’re doing in Afghanistan is going to make my children not have to over over and fight the same Islamic fascists,” he said.

Traveling in Afghanistan Wednesday, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said it’s possible some of the troops involved in the surge could be withdrawn even before the July 2011 target, though he said those decisions would “be conditions-based,” according to the Associated Press.