Graham, Leahy push for $1B in emergency Syrian refugee funds
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A bipartisan pair of senators — including one presidential candidate — is pushing forward with an emergency spending bill to help strengthen the administration's ability to combat the Syrian refugee crisis. 

Sens. Patrick LeahyPatrick LeahyOvernight Cybersecurity: Facebook invests in group fighting election hacking | House panel advances DHS cyber revamp bill | Lawmakers mull cyber insurance for small businesses Overnight Tech: Trump touts new Wisconsin electronics plant | Lawmakers to unveil email privacy bill | Facebook funds group fighting election hacks Senators to release bipartisan legislation on email privacy MORE (D-Vt.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamBare bones repeal plan gains steam in Senate Live coverage: Senate debates repealing ObamaCare Graham: Trump 'absolutely' showing weakness on Sessions MORE (R-S.C.) have rolled out legislation that would provide an extra $1 billion in emergency funding, mandating that the White House tell Congress within 45 days how it will use the money.   
 
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Leahy said in a statement that "the disaster in Syria dwarfs anything we have seen for decades, with millions of people uprooted and seeking safety in other countries. It is a humanitarian emergency of staggering proportions, and we need to do more. Our bill would make that possible.” 
 
While the legislation doesn't specify how many Syrian refugees should be accepted into the United States, their funding would allow for the resettlement of up to 100,000 refugees over two years, according to Leahy's office. 
 
The legislation comes as Congress is grappling with how to respond to the crisis and the administration's plan to increase the number of refugees it accepts. 
 
Dozens of Senate Democrats backed a letter from Sen. Chris MurphyChris MurphyDems don’t want to help GOP improve repeal bill Tough road ahead for McConnell on ObamaCare Dem senator: Trump's 'icky' Boy Scout speech left 'my stomach in knots' MORE (D-Conn.) earlier this week calling for an emergency spending bill. That letter was spent to Leahy and Graham, as well as Sens. Thad CochranThad CochranOvernight Finance: GOP offers measure to repeal arbitration rule | Feds fine Exxon M for Russian sanctions violations | Senate panel sticks with 2017 funding levels for budget | Trump tax nominee advances | Trump unveils first reg agenda Senate committee ignores Trump, House budgets in favor of 2017 funding levels Overnight Finance: CBO finds 22M more uninsured under Senate health bill | GOP agrees ObamaCare taxes must go | Supreme Court to look at Dodd-Frank whistleblower protections | More tax reform hearings | Green light for partial travel ban | MORE (R-Miss.) and Barbara MikulskiBarbara MikulskiGore wishes Mikulski a happy birthday at 'Inconvenient Sequel' premiere Bipartisan friendship is a civil solution to political dysfunction Dems press for paycheck fairness bill on Equal Pay Day MORE (D-Md.), the top two members on the Appropriations Committee. 
 
But FBI Director James Comey said Thursday that there are "gaps" in the screening process for bringing Syrians into the United States. 
 
“There is risk associated of bringing anybody in from the outside, but specifically from a conflict zone like that,” he told members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. 
 
Graham, who is running for president, quickly came out in support of accepting more Syrian refugees after a photo of a drowned Syrian child went viral and sparked international outrage earlier this year. 
 
His position pits him against not only many of his Republican colleagues, but also other 2016 presidential contenders. Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzBare bones repeal plan gains steam in Senate Dem lawmaker: Trump should fire Sessions GOP Senate candidate: concerns about Trump are 'coming to fruition' MORE (R-Texas), who is also running for president, said earlier this week that President Obama's plan to accept additional Syrian refugees was "nothing short of crazy." 
 
The Graham-Leahy bill also requires that Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryObama cyber czar: Trump State Department needs cybersecurity office Kerry on Trump’s military transgender ban: ‘We’re better than this’ Senators who have felt McCain's wrath talk of their respect for him MORE describe what security vetting refugees would have to undergo before being accepted into the country.