DEFUND Refugee Program: Calling on Texas where key House and Senate legislators reside
Posted by Ann Corcoran on October 21, 2016
This is the first in a series of posts I will be writing in the coming weeks haranguing readers and all those concerned with the rapidly expanding UN/US State Department Refugee Admissions Program (RAP).
Although it is wonderful to see and hear about all the great things you are doing to educate the public and pressure your local and state officials about problems you see with the RAP, but frankly there is only one place (besides electing Donald Trump) where you should be putting most of your energy over the coming weeks.
Keep it simple! DEFUND the Refugee program!
Use all of your local action to pressure your Member of Congress and US Senators to DEFUND the RAP on the final budget vote which must happen by December 9th.
At right is the House of Representatives calendar for the remainder of the year (subject to change, as they say, post election). There is little time!
The Obama Administration has said they want 110,000 refugees (20,000-30,000 will be Syrian Muslims) admitted to the US by September 30, 2017. If the Dept. of State (DOS) and the ORR (in Health and Human Services) do not have the money for that many, they will not be able to bring in that vast number. It is that simple.
The present Continuing Resolution has the program funded at the 2016 level (which is not enough money for 110,000 either).
Already the state has shown that the will of the people is to not bring in more refugees (based on Governor Abbott’s strong stance on the program). However, the DOS and the federal resettlement contractors there are thumbing their noses at the governor and have made Texas once again the top resettlement state in the nation this fiscal year already, see here. Make no mistake! This is about turning the red state blue!
A few weeks ago, relentless and brave Rep. Brian Babin made an attempt to cut the funding for the RAP on the Continuing Resolution with this letter and with a visit to the House Rules Committee seeking a rider for that CR. Rules did not grant him his request.
However, we expect to see another effort by Dr. Babin on the looming FY2017 Budget right after the election.
We are told that he is committed to seeking out every opportunity to defund the refugee program, including in any must-pass budget legislation, and will be looking for other Members of Congress to join him in this effort.
All of you must go to your Congressman right now in the weeks before the election and pressure them to support any effort by Congressman Babin to rein-in the program.
However, in our first in a series of posts, it is members of the powerful Texas delegation that are critical to this effort.
Before I get to the Texas targets….
I can’t emphasize enough that by controlling the flow of money for costly resettlement, it consequently reduces the number to be resettled. At present the Administration is working overtime to get as many refugees resettled before Inauguration Day in January. If Hillary wins they will have a jump on possibly an even greater flow (she will use emergency powers) for the remainder of the year (assuming they get $$$ out of Congress).
If Donald Trump wins it will likely take a few months to slow the flow because he will have to get his people placed, especially in the State Department where Anne Richard would have to be gone ASAP. I anticipate there will be much screaming and crying that there are thousands of refugees in the pipeline and it would be heartless to stop the flow especially if Congress has granted them a huge budget for FY2017.
So, it all comes back to Congress and funding! The House of Representatives is most important, but you must reach your Senators too!
Although they might like to stay in the shadows, here are the key members of the House that Texas patriots must target in coming weeks! These are some of the most important REPUBLICAN members with the power to rein-in the program!
House Appropriations Committee members from Texas:
House Judiciary Committee members (some of these are already friendly to our concerns) from Texas (Judiciary Committee has oversight responsibility for the RAP):
House Rules Committee members from Texas:
Pete Sessions (Chairman!)
House Homeland Security Committee members from Texas (because more than perhaps others, these members understand the security risks):
Michael McCaul (Chairman!)
Do you see how important Texas members of Congress are? Those are the members above and also Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn who have the real power to slow the flow of refugees to Texas and to America!
Call on Cruz and Cornyn to follow Rep. Brian Babin’s initiative to defund the program on the Senate side.
See all of those above on the campaign trail and make sure they get the message from you before they return to Washington on November 14th!
If you don’t live in Texas, keep pressure on your member (and on Speaker Paul Ryan!) to back Rep. Babin. In the coming days and weeks we will have more targets in other states. Stay tuned!
For more posts about Congress budgetary role, go to our tag ‘Where is Congress’
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