Dem senator: US credibility at stake in Syrian refugee crisis
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A Democratic senator argued Sunday that U.S. credibility is at stake as he pushed America to take in more refugees from Syria.

Sen. Chris MurphyChris MurphyA guide to the committees: Senate Senators eye new sanctions against Iran For Trump and Russia, the fall of Michael Flynn is only the beginning MORE (D-Conn.) said on "Fox News Sunday" that the U.S. needs to do far more to accommodate the outflow of refugees from war-torn Syria, even well beyond the Obama administration’s plans to bring in at least 10,000 refugees in the next fiscal year.

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With European nations expected to bring in hundreds of thousands of people, Murphy said the U.S. needs to step up, after taking in just 1,500 refugees in fiscal 2015.

“It doesn’t stand to reason that Germany is going to take 800,000 and the U.S. has only taken 1,500,” he said. “If we want credibility in the region, we’ve got to be seen as a partner in trying to solve this humanitarian crisis. Right now, we’re not.”

Other Democrats have pushed the White House in recent days to vastly increase its threshold for Syrian refugees.

But Sen. Ron JohnsonRon JohnsonA guide to the committees: Senate Hopes rise for law to expand access to experimental drugs Dems ask for hearings on Russian attempts to attack election infrastructure MORE (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, urged caution before the U.S. flings open its doors. Johnson said it can take up to two years to fully vet a refugee to make sure he or she is safe to bring into the country, and warned that terrorist groups could try to use that approach to bring people into the U.S.

“We need to be first concerned with our own national security,” he said on the same program.

Johnson went on to criticize President Obama’s foreign policy and withdrawal of a military presence in the Middle East for exacerbating the situation.

“The reality of the situation is this refugee crisis is a symptom of the broader problem,” he added.