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POLITICS: PennAve

Joe Manchin opposes U.S. military action in Syria

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Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin said Thursday he will vote against a Senate resolution authorizing U.S. airstrikes in Syria, dealing a blow to President Obama's call to intervene in the Middle Eastern country's civil war.

The moderate West Virginian, who the administration had been courting to support its push to intervene in the bloody two-year conflict, said instead he will work with like-minded Senate colleagues to "develop other options."

"In good conscience, I cannot support the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s resolution," he said in a prepared statement. "We must exhaust all diplomatic options and have a comprehensive plan for international involvement before we act."

Manchin, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he reached his decision after hearing from constituents, attending classified briefings, and speaking with military and administration officials.

“The decision to use U.S. military force is one of the most serious decisions I have ever made," he said. "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."

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday voted 10-7 authorizing military action against Syria, setting up an expected vote in the full chamber next week.

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Sean Lengell

Congressional Correspondent
The Washington Examiner