September 03, 2013

Democrat asks constituents for Syria input via email, Twitter, Facebook | The Hill

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on Tuesday asked residents of his home state for input on how he should vote on a resolution authorizing military action against Syria.

"As I begin attending intelligence briefings and hearings concerning the ongoing situation in Syria, I want to hear from West Virginians on what, if any, military action should be taken," Manchin said on his website. "Your feedback is invaluable as Congress begins debate on this critical national security issue."

Manchin asked West Virginia residents to send advice either by email, Twitter or via Facebook.

Manchin is one of several members of the House and Senate who are undecided about whether to vote in favor of a military strike against Syria. Many welcomed President Obama's decision to consult Congress about how to respond to Syria's apparent use of chemical weapons, but are still looking for more information before deciding.

Several Syria hearings are scheduled this week with top administration officials who are hoping to convince members to support a war authorization resolution. The vote on the resolution will likely take place next week.

Earlier in the day, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he would vote in favor of military intervention but also said it would be up to President Obama to win the votes in Congress.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) went further on Tuesday by calling on President Obama to address the American people directly on why he wants to attack Syria.

"I appreciate President Obama holding a meeting today at the White House," Cornyn said. "Unfortunately, many questions are still left unanswered. I would urge the president to make the case not only to Congress, but to the American people, in a national address.

"The president needs to explain in detail what vital national interests are at stake, his plan for securing these interests and a clear definition of what success looks like in Syria."

By:  Pete Kasperowicz