Rep. Mo Brooks: Congress Must Use ‘Power of the Purse’ To Block Obama’s Refugee Plan

U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) on his way to the House Chamber for a procedural vote on the House floor September 28, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The House will vote later today on two amendments to the Senate-passed continuing resolution that will keep the government running.
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Congress must use its power of the purse to halt the Obama administration’s expensive and dangerous refugee plans, according to Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL).

“It will be very difficult for me to vote for any funding bill that risks American lives by improving the chances of successful terrorist attacks on American cities,” Brooks said in an interview with Breitbart News Tuesday. “And so if that’s the funding bill Barack Obama and the House and Senate leadership want me to support they’re going to need to look elsewhere for votes.”

According to Brooks, there are two pivotal problems with the Obama administration’s plan to increase the numbers of refugees it resettles in the U.S. — including at least 10,000 Syrian refugees — cost and national security.

“That is money we don’t have, we have to borrow to get, can’t afford to pay back and is yet another burden — another set of welfare programs paid for by American citizens,”  he said pointing out that the cost of resettling refugees goes beyond simply transporting them to the U.S. to include high cost assistance programs.

Brooks noted that it was the cost issue that led him to oppose the administration’s plans for increases to the refugee levels in September.

“The second concern is the more recent, obvious concern,” the Alabama lawmaker continued. “That is that Barack Obama wants to endanger Americans by importing people, some of whom undoubtably will resort to terrorism and killing Americans at some point in the future,” he said.

Brooks stressed that the only way for Congress to stop Obama’s plans is to block funding for it.

“Congress has the power of the purse and it is long past time for Congress to start exercising that power in a financially responsible way that has the added benefit of enhancing national security,” he said. “So any future funding bill should provide zero monies for the importation of large numbers of Muslims, given that the odds are that some small number of that large number will consist of terrorists who want to kill Americans.”

Brooks acknowledged his sympathy for the plight of refugees but stressed that his primary duty is to the American people he serves, “they’re financial abilities not he one hand and their lives and well being on the other hand,” he explained, adding that the President’s immigration policies are detrimental to both.

While there are bills Congress may take up to impose restrictions on the refugee plans, Brooks said they would be ineffective given that Obama will likely veto such bills and Democrats are unlikely to join Republicans to override such a veto.

“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!” he said.

With House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) at the helm not for this upcoming legislative battle, Brooks expressed hope that the process would be better for conservatives than under former-Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) but appeared to doubt that his hopes would be realized.

“I hope I’m wrong in my analysis and that things will be better, but I fear that we’re going to go into the same old routine of passing symbolic bills that you can run home and brag to your constituents about in an election year, but which do nothing to solve the problem because they do not become law,” he said.