The Cable

Obama Vows to Veto Syrian Refugee Bill

The White House announced on Wednesday it will veto a Republican bill that will impose stricter requirements for refugees entering the United States from Syria. The bill, scheduled for a vote in the House on Thursday, wouldn’t provide any additional security and would “create significant delays and obstacles in the fulfillment of a vital program that satisfies both humanitarian and national security objectives," said the White House in a statement.

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 19:  U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about Iraq in the Brady Briefing room of the White House on June 19, 2014 in Washington, DC. Obama spoke about the deteriorating situation as Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants move toward Baghdad after taking control over northern Iraqi cities.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 19: U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about Iraq in the Brady Briefing room of the White House on June 19, 2014 in Washington, DC. Obama spoke about the deteriorating situation as Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants move toward Baghdad after taking control over northern Iraqi cities. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The White House announced on Wednesday it will veto a Republican bill that will impose stricter requirements for refugees entering the United States from Syria. The bill, scheduled for a vote in the House on Thursday, wouldn’t provide any additional security and would “create significant delays and obstacles in the fulfillment of a vital program that satisfies both humanitarian and national security objectives,” said the White House in a statement.

Most Democrats indicated this week that they would oppose the legislation, authored by Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Texas) and Richard Hudson (R-N.C.). They say the proposal would effectively shut down the resettlement of Syrians fleeing desperate conditions in the war-torn Middle East. Republicans, however, have rallied behind the bill, saying the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris last week demonstrate the danger posed by Syrian refugees. Though none of the Paris attackers have been identified as Syrian, the highly charged (and often inflammatory) public debate over the acceptance of refugees has alarmed the public, and now most Americans oppose the president’s plan to allow 10,000 Syrian refugees into the United States, according to two new polls.

“Given the lives at stake and the critical importance to our partners in the Middle East and Europe of American leadership in addressing the Syrian refugee crisis, if the President were presented with [the legislation], he would veto the bill,” said the White House.

Shortly after the announcement, Hudson, the co-author of the bill, called the president “out of touch.”

“I am disappointed the president has issued a veto threat on this common sense, reasonable bill, and I encourage him to reconsider to keep terrorists out and the American people safe,” he said.

Photo credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images

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