House votes to curb Syrian refugee influx
In the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, Americans are looking toward their elected leadership for a way forward in the plan to defeat ISIS.
One of the plans put forward by the GOP-led Congress is to enhance security measures and to temporarily halt settlements for the incoming Syrian and Iraqi refugees, and to also require the FBI and Department of Homeland Security to perform individual background checks.
The White House has reported that President Obama has made it clear that he will veto the House-led legislation if it arrives at his desk.
From Fox News:
“Given the lives at stake and the critical importance to our partners in the Middle East and Europe of American leadership in addressing the Syrian refugee crisis … [Obama] would veto the bill.”
But even some Democrats are showing defiance towards the president’s strategy and are aligning themselves with the GOP on this particular issue.
The Blue Dog Democrats, who are more conservative-leaning, will back the legislation.
Rep. Brad Ashford, D-Nebraska, spoke in defense of the refugee program, but also cautioned about the status of the U.S. national security:
“I am proud of America’s legacy as a welcoming nation to people fleeing violence in their home countries,” he added, “but during the process of admitting refugees from countries associated with ISIS, we have to ensure that those coming to the U.S. do not pose a threat to the American people.”
The Blue Dog Democrats are a coalition of roughly up to 15 members of moderates who do not necessarily align themselves with the Democratic leadership, but advocate for conservative principles such as a strong national defense and fiscal responsibility.
While the Blue Dogs are siding with Republicans, the expected opposition from other Democrat congressional members exists.
Rep. Eliot Engel, D- New York, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, invoked personal emotion over the ordeal:
“Let’s remember: These people are the victims of ISIS. They’re fleeing from ISIS. They are not ISIS. So will we now slam the door in their faces?”
The bill, entitled the American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act, found safe passage through the House of Representatives by a 289-137 vote count, with 47 Democrats voting with Republicans. It now moves to the Senate, where tougher opposition expected.
While partisanship is a landmark of politics, the American people are looking for more results than rhetoric as terrorism continues to branch out in the international scene.DONATE
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