Refugee funding could be major budget battle this year between Republican Congress and Obama
Posted by Ann Corcoran on September 21, 2016
Update: Just hold on! S.O.S. Looks like the Rs are going to try the same old scam they pulled last year. See my post from September 9th. I think we are headed down the same path. They must think that we are really really stupid. More tomorrow.
It is not just Rep. Brian Babin’s brave 36 members of Congress talking about amending the Continuing Budget Resolution in the House, but other Republican members are stepping up to question the wisdom of spending millions to bring in more migrants like Dahir Adan in Minnesota and Ahmad Khan Rahami in New Jersey.
Here is what the Daily Signal is reporting. I will admit this budget process is confusing to me so I’m not presenting this as an expert. But, when you get to the end of the lengthy discussion, one thing I am taking away is that the House could attach something to withhold funding, but some Republicans in the House are pointing a finger at Senate Dems who they say have no will to protect us.
What about Senate Republicans, does MAJORITY LEADER Mitch McConnell have the will to protect us or is it his BIG business interests (cheap labor/Chamber types) he is protecting?
I know you are probably sick of hearing it, but this refugee program is more about cheap migrant labor than about humanitarianism!
As President Barack Obama used his final address before the United Nations General Assembly to urge world leaders to help protect refugees, Republicans in Congress threatened to use their budget powers to restrict who is admitted into the U.S.
While refugee resettlement has enjoyed bipartisan support in Congress historically, some Republicans want confirmation from U.S. intelligence leaders that screening procedures are strong enough to warrant a major American commitment to accepting more refugees during a time of heightened terrorism fears.
Thirty-seven Republican House members wrote a letter to House leadership this week asking them to use a must-pass spending bill as a vehicle for language that would block federal funding to refugees from Syria, the Middle East, and North Africa until national security officials can guarantee that terrorists cannot infiltrate the screening process.
“This is a clear and present danger to the U.S.,” said Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas, who has sponsored legislation pausing refugee resettlement from “terrorism hot-spots” to the U.S., and who signed onto the letter.
Setting the stage (Daily Signal continues):
With Congress in control of the funding for refugee resettlement, Republicans say their concerns over vetting procedures for admitting refugees to the U.S. outweigh other concerns, and that they need more assurances the program cannot be infiltrated by Islamic extremists.
In calling for stronger vetting, these critics have pointed to testimony last year to Congress from FBI Director James Comey, in which he said there are challenges to how the U.S. screens refugees, specifically with the limitations in gathering intelligence in war-torn Syria.
Republicans also note recent terrorist attacks in Europe where some of the terrorists involved had posed as refugees.
“We have a new dimension on the national security front that we never faced before,” said Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., in an interview with The Daily Signal.
“Where in the past refugees have come to the U.S. as a place of rescue and safety, now we have credible evidence that suggests that ISIS and other terror groups are trying to take advantage of our generosity and compassion. So that does necessitate a change in not only our priorities, but also the funding we allocate to this particular issue.”
We didn’t know this, that the Freedom Caucus has a strategy as the refugee issue might be used as a negotiating chip in determining whether the budget resolution will be revisited in the lame duck session (between the election and the end of the year) or extended in to the new year.
By the way, if Trump is elected and the budget must be debated in December it could be one helluva battle over refugees at that point in time (and this is why we must keep pushing this now!).
Meadows is among members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus who have said they would support a government spending bill that expires in December, rather than later in the new year, if the legislation contains language pausing refugee resettlement.
The Freedom Caucus prefers the spending bill to run past the lame-duck session of Congress, but Meadows and other members say they’d abandon that position if their concerns over refugee resettlement were addressed.
Then here is another Republican group with a concern about funding refugees from terrorist regions of the world and raising the specter of a government shutdown over refugee funding. (Again, the Daily Signal continues)
A larger House conservative group, the Republican Study Committee, is also pushing congressional leadership to include a policy rider to the spending bill related to the refugee issue.
“A lot of us agree with the vast majority of Americans that we should be certain we can vet these refugees before we give them free access to the U.S.,” said Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., a Freedom Caucus member who is running to become chairman of the Republican Study Committee. [Harris is also on the all-important Appropriations Committee—ed]
“I believe a CR [continuing resolution to fund the government] should have a refugee component as part of it,” Harris told The Daily Signal in an interview, adding:
If the president wants to threaten to shut down the government because he wants to take in refugees who are not vetted, especially given what happened in New York and New Jersey, I’d like to see that argument against it.
In the Senate, Senators Jeff Sessions and Ted Cruz are expected to speak up about refugee funding, but there doesn’t seem to be the will there in the leadership to cut any funds!
The offices of House leadership—Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.; Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.; and Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky.—would not confirm to The Daily Signal that they would attach a refugee-related measure to the spending bill, citing the privacy of ongoing negotiations.
The Senate is widely expected to release its version of the spending bill before the House does. Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., are among senators to speak out against Obama’s plan to take in more refugees this year.
But here at the end, we see the usual Republican (RINO) ploy—blame it on the Dems! This Congressman, whoever he is!, is shilling for the elite Republican establishment.
He is letting not only Paul Ryan off the hook, but the Senate MAJORITY LEADER as well by saying if there is no Democratic support there is no sense doing anything. This is BS! The Republicans control Congress, not the Dems!
We know too much now, they can’t pull this c*** on us!
The Republicans are responsible for refugee funding! Maybe it is time for the Republicans to stand up for the principle (and the Constitution!) and if the Dems want to bring in potentially more terrorists let them be responsible!
The Daily Signal wraps up with this from an apparent establishment mouth piece!
Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa., who leads House Republicans’ more centrist Tuesday Group, said he is doubtful party leaders would attach language related to refugees unless they know more Senate Democrats would vote for it.
“I believe any proposals that should go into the CR are ones that can attract the votes to pass, and I don’t know if this refugee rider can get the votes in the Senate,” Dent told The Daily Signal in an interview, referring to the continuing resolution to fund the government.
So, Dent is one of those Republicans who aren’t willing to fight or stand on principle. He thinks we will just blame one more loss on the Democrats! Won’t work anymore!
Keep calling! It is working!
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