obama syrian refugees
U.S. President Barack Obama holds up his hand, reacting to a question about about U.S. politicians opposed to taking in Syrian refugees. Obama has promised to veto a measure that would impose additional requirements for refugee resettlement, including admitting less displaced Muslims. He delivered his remarks from the Philippines after speaking alongside President Benigno Aquino alongside the APEC summit in Manila, Philippines, November 18, 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

President Barack Obama blasted Republicans for introducing a bill in the House that would give congress tighter control of a federal Syrian refugee resettlement. Stressing a need for “American leadership in addressing the Syrian refugee crisis” the White House promised Republican leaders in a statement that the President would veto H.R. 4038, the American SAFE Act of 2015. In person, Obama chides GOP leaders’ responses to the Syrian refugee crisis since the ISIS-led Paris attacks last week.

“First, they were worried about the press being too tough on them during debates,” he said, in reference to GOP criticisms to CNBC moderators. “Now they're worried about three-year-old orphans.” Obama told reporters in the Philippines, referring to Chris Christie’s assertion earlier this week that he didn’t trust Obama to resettle Syrian toddlers.

Republican lawmakers led by Michael McCaul quickly drafted the bill after outcry from governors, mostly of their party, protested against refugee settlement. According to the drafters, the bill would increase security of refugee resettlement by achieving taking four steps.

1) Require affirmative approval by both the House and Senate before any refugees are admitted to the U.S.

2) Allow Congress to block any inadequate refugee resettlement plan put forward by the President.

3) Require the Administration, when considering the admission of refugees from Iraq and Syria, to prioritize the resettlement of oppressed religious minorities.

4) Ensure DHS, in coordination with DNI and FBI, provides new security assurances before admitting refugees into the country and for the Governmental Accountability Office to conduct a sweeping review of security gaps in the current refugee screening process.

"Many Americans are understandably concerned about the threat posed by inadequate security screening procedures for refugee seeking entry into the United States. ISIS themselves have stated their intention to take advantage of the crisis to infiltrate the west. We have to take this threat seriously,” McCaul said in a statement.

The White House disagreed with McCaul’s bill saying that it wouldn’t add security measure but would severely inhibit officials implementing refugee resettlement. Obama took to twitter as the bill was being introduced.

“Slamming the door in the face of refugees would betray our deepest values. That's not who we are. And it's not what we're going to do,” Obama wrote from his official account @POTUS.

Republican lawmakers demanded action, conceding that Syrian refugees needed assistance but rejecting the need for the U.S. to settle refugees. Some concerned about refugees have argued that it would be more cost-effective to settle them in camps along the Syrian border. Others are expected to introduce amendments to the bill calling for only Christian asylum seekers to be admitted.

“People understand the plight of those fleeing the Middle East. But they also want basic assurances for the safety of this country,” Speaker Paul Ryan the House during a floor speech Wednesday, according to The Hill . “We can be compassionate and we can also be safe.”

He also criticized Obama for not defeating ISIS.

"he Obama administration’s time would be better spent on a plan to defeat ISIS than on one to move terrorist detainees to our homeland."

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