A letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) requesting that the year-end spending bill feature language to fully defund refugee resettlement to the U.S. has 57 co-signers, according to the letter’s author Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX).
“There is no duty of the federal government more important than ensuring the protection of the American people,” Babin said Wednesday revealing the number of co-signers.
“With the recent horrific terrorist attacks in Paris, it is now more critical than ever that the United States halt the troublesome refugee resettlement program,” he added.
Babin was critical of the refugee resettlement program even before the attacks in Paris, due to the high cost of the program — which grants refugees immediate access to welfare and other assistance benefits — and national security concerns. Earlier this year Babin introduced legislation to suspend all refugee Resettlement until the Government Accountability Office conducts an audit on the program’s cost and Congress grants the authority to resume resettlement.
With the attacks in Paris, more voices have been coming out in opposition to President Obama’s plan to increase the levels of refugees to the U.S., including thousands of Syrian refugees.
“The upcoming year-end spending bill provides the best opportunity to be successful in stopping this reckless refugee program,” Babin says.
The House is slated to vote on legislation Thursday that would require the FBI Director to certify that all refugees receive a background check and administration officials to confirm that no refugee is a security threat, however some conservative members argue the only way to ensure that President Obama does not go forward with his plans is to go Babin’s route and block funding.
“The odds are we would not be in a position to overcome a veto, which means — if that analysis holds true — the only option we have left is to exercise the power of the purse that the Constitution says Congress has by withholding money for these programs that we don’t have the money for. Which ought to make it a no brainer!” Rep. Mo Brooks said Tuesday.
Republican lawmakers have expressed serious concerns about the vetting process amid concessions by top officials the the U.S. lacks the data to fully vet those refugees coming to the U.S.
“Europe is witnessing first-hand the problems posed by this program, and we do not need to import the problems of the Middle East into the United States,” Babin said. “I am pleased that many of my colleagues are recognizing this danger and supporting our letter. I look forward to continuing this effort and expanding our support to help stop this insane program.”
Babin’s office said the letter has been circulating since Monday and is expected to remain open for more signatures opposing the Syrian refugee program until the end of the week.