With 53% of Americans opposed to opening the nation’s borders to those fleeing the war-torn Middle Eastern nation, it is perhaps no surprise that The House just voted overwhelmingly to slap stringent - and difficult to implement - new screening procedures on refugees from Syria seeking resettlement. While 47 Democrats defied President Obama's; due to absences, the vote did not quite nullify the threat of veto, without which the bill would effectively suspend the entry of refugees into the US for months or years.
The House forcefully snubbed President Obama's veto threat... (as AP reports),
The House has rebuked President Barack Obama by ignoring his veto threat and approving a Republican bill erecting fresh barriers for Syrian and Iraqi refugees trying to enter the United States.
Thursday's passage came on a 289-137 vote.
The roll call came after White House officials visited the Capitol and lobbied Democrats to oppose the legislation. Dozens of them ended up joining Republicans, anyway, and supporting the measure.
The curbs would in effect suspend the entry of Syrian and Iraqi refugees into the U.S. for months or years.
Republicans said tighter restrictions are needed following last week's Paris terrorist attacks. Obama and most Democrats said the system was already safe and the U.S. shouldn't abandon its tradition of accepting refugees.
Forty-seven Democrats defied President Obama’s veto threat and backed the bill - just short of enough to override a presidential veto if all members are present. Two Republicans voted agains the measure.
GOP aides noted that because of absences, the vote would have met the two-thirds requirement to override a presidential veto if that vote had been held Thursday. Still, there's no guarantee that Democrats would vote to override the president if the bill comes back to the floor.
Seizing on the fear stemming from the Paris attacks and threatening to cloud President Obama’s Middle East policy, as The New York Times reports,
The bill would require that the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and the director of national intelligence confirm that each applicant from Syria and Iraq poses no threat, a demand the White House called “untenable.”
The measure received significant support from Democrats, even after administration officials implored them to abandon the measure on Thursday morning.
The Senate is expected to take up the measure after the Thanksgiving recess, but its fate in that chamber is unclear.
“Our duty is to protect the American people,” said Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the majority leader. The House measure, he said, “increases the standards to keep those who want to do us harm out.”
About 53 percent of respondents in a new Bloomberg Politics survey oppose opening the nation’s borders to those fleeing the war-torn Middle Eastern nation.
Twenty-eight percent support Obama’s plan for resettling approximately 10,000 displaced Syrians by 2016.
The remaining 8 percent, it added, are unsure of how the U.S. should proceed.
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Finally there is this...
Another 11 percent, Bloomberg Politics found, back accepting only Christian Syrians.