‘Too Weak’: Republican Who Voted Against Refugee Bill Speaks Out

Ethan Barton | Investigative Reporter

Congress’ “feel-good” bill the House passed Thursday to tighten Syrian refugee screening is “weak” and an effort to stop members from defunding the program, one of the two Republicans that voted against the measure told a local radio show.

“I think the reason that this bill came up, and, as weak as it is, is to stop any effort by members of Congress, including myself, that would like to defund the budget of the program to bring in 10,000 Syrians,” North Carolina Rep. [crscore]Walter Jones[/crscore] told Viewpoints on The Talk Station. “And I think that my leadership is complicit in that. I don’t like saying that. I really do not like to say that.”

The bill, which passed the House 289-137, requires the FBI director, the Department of Homeland Security secretary and the national intelligence director to confirm that each Syrian and Iraqi refugee applicant posed no threat. Jones and Iowa’s Rep. [crscore]Steve King[/crscore] were the only two Republicans to vote against the measure, while 47 Democrats backed it.

“We needed to do this to show the American people we’re doing something,” Jones said. “Good gosh. If we want to show them we’re doing something, let’s pass a moratorium bill on the floor of the House.”

“But this was a feel-good bill and that’s why I am not going to intentionally cheat the people of the third district by voting for something that doesn’t have any substance to it,” he continued.

Obama vowed to veto the bill, calling it “untenable.” Senate Minority Leader [crscore]Harry Reid[/crscore] from Nevada said he would block the measure.

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