President Obama is intent on admitting thousands of refugees from terrorist hotspots to the U.S. but House Republicans failed to negotiate screening protections for the influx in last year’s omnibus spending bill, according to Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX).
“They promised me that they were going to have it in there and that they would fight for it and when it didn’t get in there I asked them, they said it was a non-starter with the Democrats,” Babin told Stephen K. Bannon on Sirius XM’s Breitbart News Daily. “There was no negotiation with the Democrats what-so-ever that would wound up with that in there they told me.”
Babin added that while last year the effort to use funding measures to force the Obama administration to increase its screening protocol for refugees from Syria and other areas of concern failed, he is optimistic about a renewed effort this year.
“I’ve got high hopes that we’re going to see some action here. I was very disappointed it didn’t happen in December with the omnibus and none of the language got in there at that point but this time I’m hoping that it does happen,” he said.
Last week Babin and more than 50 Republican House members called on appropriators to include language from the House-passed House-passed American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act (SAFE Act) in the upcoming, FY 2017 Homeland Security appropriations bill.
The language the lawmakers seek to include would restrict admission of refugees from “hotbeds of terrorism,” specifically Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, unless they have been subject to enhanced screening protocols and certified as not a security threat by the FBI Director, DHS Secretary, and Director of National Intelligence.
“It’s still an extremely dangerous reckless program that this president seems bend upon having — even though his FBI Director, his Secretary of Homeland Security, they both tell him that they cannot properly screen these people, but he continues to double down,” Babin said.