Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., announced Monday she will not support the Senate resolution authorizing limited military force against the Syrian government.
Heitkamp, a freshman, joins a growing list of Democrats who oppose a strike, and her announcement comes ahead of President Obama's private visit with Senate Democrats at the Capitol on Tuesday.
“After doing my due diligence, I believe we need an alternative path forward in dealing with the Assad regime," Heitkamp said in a statement. "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."
In addition to Heitkamp, Democratic Sens. Chris Murphy, of Connecticut, Tom Udall, of New Mexico, Joe Manchin, of West Virginia, Mark Pryor, of Arkansas and Brian Schatz of Hawaii are opposed to the resolution.
Heitkamp is working with Manchin on an alternative resolution that would give the Syrian government 45 days to sign a chemical weapons ban and start turning over its stash of 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," Heitkamp said. "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.”