47 Democrats Buck Obama on Syrian Refugees

House easily passes measure to tighten screening
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 19, 2015 1:48 PM CST
47 Democrats Buck Obama on Syrian Refugees
House Speaker Paul Ryan calls on a reporter during a news briefing on Capitol Hill Thursday.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

The House overwhelmingly approved legislation Thursday to make it harder for Syrian and Iraqi refugees to enter the United States. The AP calls the 289-137 vote a "stinging rebuke" to President Obama, and the Hill points out that 47 Democrats bucked the White House and supported the measure. It now moves on to the Senate, where its fate is unclear. Senators won't take up the matter until after the Thanksgiving recess, and Obama has promised a veto if it reaches his desk. Politico notes that the 289 votes in favor is enough to override the veto in the House, adding that the vote shows Republicans plan to emphasize foreign policy in the 2016 election.

The measure, which in effect would suspend admissions of Syrian and Iraqi refugees, would require the FBI to conduct background checks on people coming to the US from those countries. It would oblige the heads of the FBI and Homeland Security Department and the director of national intelligence to certify to Congress that each refugee "is not a threat to the security of the United States." The White House has called that requirement "untenable," reports the New York Times, which describes the new procedures as "difficult to implement." (More Congress stories.)

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