In the wake of Friday’s terror attacks in Paris, the House is expected to vote on legislation this week designed to stop President Barack Obama from allowing thousands of Syrian refugees to resettle in the United States.
Republican lawmakers have expressed concern the influx of unvetted refugees will put the country at greater risk of terrorism.
“This is a moment where it’s better to be safe than to be sorry,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said at a press conference Tuesday. “So, we think the prudent, the responsible thing is to take a pause in this particular aspect of this refugee program in order to verify that terrorists are not trying to infiltrate the refugee population.”
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is leading a six-member task force charged with developing ways for the legislative branch to deal with the refugee crisis and the threat of ISIS attacks on the home front.
The Obama administration dismissed lawmakers’ request to put a halt on allowing refuges to resettle in America, saying, “slamming the door in their faces would be a betrayal of our values.”
Pennsylvania Republican Pat Meehan argued the country’s current vetting system can’t properly investigate the amount of refugees the commander in chief is calling for.
“Up till now, the small number of Syrians allowed in the country has enabled us to take prudent measures to screen them,” said Meehan in a statement Monday. “But the dramatic increase in refugee admissions the administration seeks will preclude that. We simply have no ability to vet vast numbers of refugees from Syria at this time.”
Sen. Jeff Sessions sent a letter to his colleagues Monday suggesting members attach provisions requiring congressional approval of funds used toward Obama’s refugee plan. The Alabama Republican advised attaching policy riders onto upcoming appropriations bills, including the omnibus bill which could lead to a government shutdown if it isn’t passed by Dec. 11.
If the provisions are attached, the president will likely veto the legislation.
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