The PJ Tatler

Obama Loses Manchin on Syria Vote

From West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D):

“The decision to use U.S. military force is one of the most serious decisions I have ever made. Over the past few weeks I have heard the concerns from thousands of West Virginians on the situation in Syria. This past week, I have attended hearings before the Senate Armed Services Committee, which I am a member, and the Senate Foreign Relations Committees, of which I am not a member, to hear Secretaries Hagel and Kerry, and General Dempsey testify. I have attended classified briefings by the Administration, and have met with national security and foreign policy experts from the leading think tanks and universities around the country. I have spoken with current and former military and administration officials. I sought out as much information as possible, so I could be sure that I had a complete understanding of the situation in Syria, and our strategic plan.

Given the case that has been presented to me, I believe that a military strike against Syria at this time is the wrong course of action. In good conscience, I cannot support the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s resolution and will be working with my colleagues and the administration to develop other options. I believe that we must exhaust all diplomatic options and have a comprehensive plan for international involvement before we act.”

Manchin is one of the Democrats in the Senate who sometimes sides with the GOP on votes. He tried to salvage part of President Obama’s gun-control bill in a deal on expanded background checks with Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) that failed after four Democrats voted against it.