House coalescing behind refugee bill

House coalescing behind refugee bill
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House GOP leaders are coalescing behind a bill authored by Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) that would temporarily halt President Obama’s plan to allow thousands of Syrian refugees into the U.S. until authorities can verify that none of them are dangerous, sources told The Hill.


The House will vote this week either on Hudson’s bill or a legislative package based on Hudson’s bill, the sources said Tuesday. A task force, comprised of Homeland Security Chairman Mike McCaul (R-Texas) and other key committee chairmen, is working out the details.

McCaul is a co-sponsor of the Hudson bill.

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanBiden's relationship with top House Republican is frosty The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Facebook upholds Trump ban; GOP leaders back Stefanik to replace Cheney Budowsky: Liz Cheney vs. conservatives in name only MORE (R-Wis.) and his leadership team want to act quickly to address the Syrian refugee crisis before lawmakers head home Thursday for the 10-day Thanksgiving recess.

Congress is under enormous pressure to take action after a series of terrorist attacks in Paris killed scores of people. The Islamic State or ISIS claimed responsibility, and there were fears that one of the attackers had posed as a Syrian refugee in order to enter France.

Americans fear that a Paris-style attack, hitting soft targets like sports and music venues and restaurants, could easily happen on U.S. soil. In fact, ISIS fighters warned in a video Monday that its next target could be Washington, D.C.

Leaders reached out to Hudson over the weekend to ask him about the status of his bill. He formally introduced the American SAFE Act of 2015 on Monday.

It would require:
  • The Homeland Security secretary, in consultation with the FBI director, attorney general, and the director of National Intelligence, to affirm to Congress that every refugee being admitted is not a security threat.
  • The FBI director to certify background checks have been completed for all refugees and that the background checks were carried out at the agreed-upon standard.
  • An audit of admitted refugees by the Office of the Inspector General to ensure that the vetting process is working to the appropriate standard.