Dems: Pass emergency spending bill to help Syrian refugees
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Twenty-seven Senate Democrats are calling on Congress to pass an emergency funding bill to help respond to the Syrian refugee crisis. 
 
"We urge the Appropriations Committee to immediately consider emergency funding for a two-pronged strategy to provide immediate humanitarian relief and increase the capacity for refugee admissions to the United States," the senators wrote in a letter sent to Sens. Thad CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranBiden has a lot at stake in first debate The Hill's Morning Report — Trump turns the page back to Mueller probe Trump praises Thad Cochran: 'A real senator with incredible values' MORE (R-Miss.) and Barbara MikulskiBarbara Ann MikulskiLobbying World Only four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates Raskin embraces role as constitutional scholar MORE (D-Md.), the top two lawmakers on the Appropriations Committee, and Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamImpeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Graham on the impeachment inquiry: 'I made my mind up. There's nothing there' Rand Paul says Trump has 'every right' to withhold Ukraine aid over corruption MORE (R-S.C.) and Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Senators press NSA official over shuttered phone surveillance program EPA blames advisory board for controversial changes to FOIA policy MORE (D-Vt.), who lead the subcommittee responsible for State Department funding.
 
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The senators note that the administration plan to increase its annual refugees cap to 100,000 by 2017 "will be meaningful only if Congress provides the necessary resources."
 
The emergency funding would go to increasing funding for organizations that aid Syrian refugees, as well as support the extra vetting that would be needed as the U.S. accepts more refugees. The senators wrote in the letter that priority should go to "vulnerable populations," including religious minorities, torture victims and women with children. 
 
"As always, security considerations remain paramount. All refugee applicants must continue to undergo extensive background checks and vetting of their biographic and biometric data against a broad array of U.S. law enforcement and counterterrorism databases," they add. 
 
Murphy has previously called for lawmakers to take up and pass an emergency spending bill. He said early last month, after visiting a refugee camp, that "Congress must take urgent action to address this problem."
 
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