Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin and Republican Rep. Devin Nunes are crafting an alternative to the resolution President Obama sent to Capitol Hill seeking congressional approval of a military strike against Syria that would direct the administration to focus on a diplomatic solution.
Rather than grant Obama authority to launch a military strike against Syria — as other proposed resolutions would do — the Manchin-Nunes resolution would direct the administration to redouble its diplomatic efforts to convince Syria to forgo future use of weapons of mass destruction. Is also would require the White House to submit to lawmakers within 45 days a long-term strategy for dealing with the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The bipartisan, bicameral proposal from Manchin, of West Virginia, and Nunes, of California, comes as members of Congress grow increasingly skeptical of Obama’s plan to use military force against Syria in retaliation for the Assad regime’s Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack that killed more than 1,400 Syrian citizens, including hundreds of children.
The Manchin-Nunes resolution is an attempt to satisfy Republicans and anti-war Democrats who oppose Obama’s war resolution but are uncomfortable allowing Syria to get away with using weapons of mass destruction with impunity. Manchin and Nunes have been working on similar resolutions separately, but started hammering out the final alternative proposal over the last few days.
This is one of two alternative resolutions Manchin is shopping around. The joint proposal he is developing with Nunes is based in part on a separate alternative he authored with Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., which would give Syria 45 days to sign an international chemical weapons ban.
The lawmakers hope the alternative resolution that could pass both the Democratic Senate and the Republican House. Roll Call reported the text of Manchin’s proposed resolution here. The Washington Examiner reported the draft language of Nunes’ proposed resolution earlier this week.