Sen. Joe Manchin III is joining calls for Congress to return to debate intervention in Syria.
The West Virginia Democrat made the comment in a statement issued after he participated in a secure briefing with White House officials about the use of chemical weapons by the regime of Bashar al-Assad.
"I am deeply concerned by the use of chemical weapons in Syria against innocent people, but after over a decade of war in the Middle East, there needs to be compelling evidence that there is an imminent threat to the security of the American people or our allies before any military action is taken. I do not believe that this situation meets that threshold," Manchin said. "I implore the President to immediately call Congress back to Washington and engage in a serious debate on this issue before any military action is taken."
As previously noted, bringing Congress back would require joint action by Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
Sen. Christopher S. Murphy, D-Conn., previously called for a vote on the Syria situation during an appearance on MSNBC. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., has made a similar call for debate. In the House, numerous lawmakers in both parties have called for congressional authorization for any strikes on Syria.