Updated at 12:08 pm EDT
Even as the Senate gets underway with debate on a resolution authorizing military force against Syria, talk of an alternative is in the air.
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, a Democrat from North Carolina, a Democrat whom the Obama administration lost in its bid for gun safety, has now staked out her position as a no-vote on Syria.
No, for now.
Heitkamp is working with someone who sought to craft a compromise on gun safety — another no-vote on Syria, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia. The two released their proposal on Friday.
Sen. Joe Manchin has been told he'll get a vote on his amendment walking back the Syria authorization of force, Hill source says.
— Kasie Hunt (@kasie) September 9, 2013
It’s a time-buying resolution: Giving the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad time to forfeit its chemical weapons and — in failing to do so, acting “at its own peril.”
“By using chemical weapons against its own people, the Assad regime committed a heinous crime against humanity that cannot be ignored. Any use of chemical weapons is a terrifying international problem that demands an international solution.”
“Over the past week, I have participated in many confidential briefings and I’ve been scrutinizing whether the potential use of limited force in Syria is in the best strategic interest of the United States.”
“I still believe we need to have an open and honest discussion on the Senate floor about the potential use of force in Syria. However, after all these meetings, I still have serious concerns. I cannot support the current Senate resolution to authorize force at this time.”
“After doing my due diligence, I believe we need an alternative path forward in dealing with the Assad regime. We must balance the legitimate concerns that Americans have about the use of military force with our strategic interests. At its core, I believe the current Senate resolution falls short because it calls for military action in Syria without carefully looking at diplomatic or alternative solutions. I strongly believe that we need the entire world, not just America, to prevent and deter the use of chemical weapons in Syria, or anywhere else on the globe.”
“I am currently working with Senator Joe Manchin and my other colleagues on an alternative approach that I believe provides a better path forward. The proposal would give the Assad government 45 days to sign an international chemical weapons ban and begin the process of turning over its chemical weapons. During this time, the U.S. would work to build international support and create a global response on the use of chemical weapons in Syria. If, after 45 days, the Assad regime mistakes our deliberate and careful democratic process for lack of will and immunity, it does so at its own peril.”