Cecelia Mason Published

Manchin proposes alternative to striking Syria

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) continues to lobby for a bill he’s cosponsoring with Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) promoting a diplomatic solution to problems in Syria.

Manchin and Heitkamp have proposed a joint resolution that would give Syria’s president 45 days to agree to sign the Chemical Weapons Convention and comply with its provisions. The Convention prohibits the development, stockpiling or use of chemical weapons and requires they be destroyed.

At this point Manchin opposes the Obama Administration’s proposed limited military strike.

“The question I continue to ask myself which I’m sure you all have and all American have and anyone you’ve asked, is there an imminent threat to our country and to our people. And I have found that to be absolutely not the case,” Manchin said.

Manchin said he decided to oppose immediate US military intervention after spending last week listening to all sides of the issue during Senate hearings.

“But I have to ask why are we the only ones going alone, why does it rise to the level that we should be the ones acting,” he said. “If the Arab League is not willing to go in and help their people if you will, and take the lead, if the rest of the international community has not come to the aid and not willing to come to the aid for different reasons why should we.”

Manchin said the resolution also requires the Obama administration to work at finding a diplomatic solution to preventing Syria from using chemical weapons again.