Senate Dems vow to block refugee bill

Senate Dems vow to block refugee bill
© Greg Nash

Senate Democratic Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidKamala Harris makes history — as a Westerner McConnell goes hands-off on coronavirus relief bill Kamala Harris to young Black women at conference: 'I want you to be ambitious' MORE (Nev.) says a House bill suspending the resettlement of Syrian refugees, slated for action Thursday, will not make it to President Obama’s desk.
 
Reid said at a press conference that Democrats will block the legislation that requires the secretary of Homeland Security to affirm to Congress that every refugee being admitted is not a security threat.
 
Senate Democrats are pushing alternative legislation, to be unveiled after Thanksgiving, that would tighten up security gaps in the visa waiver program.
 

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“The problem is not with refugees,” Reid said. “I don’t think we’ll be dealing with it over here.”
 
When asked about the prospect of Obama vetoing the legislation, Reid said, “Don’t worry, it won’t get passed. Next question?”
 
House Republican leaders expect the bill to receive yes votes from as many as 50 Democrats in the lower chamber.
 
They warned Democrats will pay the price politically next year if they block it.
 
“We’ll crucify them,” said a senior House GOP aide.
 
Senate Democratic leaders argue people who travel to the United States under a program that allows them to stay in the country for up to 90 days without a visa poses a bigger problem.
 
Sen. Charles SchumerChuck SchumerLawmakers push Trump to restore full funding for National Guards responding to pandemic Bipartisan senators ask congressional leadership to extend census deadline Lawmakers of color urge Democratic leadership to protect underserved communities in coronavirus talks MORE (N.Y.), the third-ranking member of the Democratic leadership, earlier in the week said a pause of the refugee resettlement program may be necessary.
 
On Thursday he took that option off the table.
 
“The appropriate place to focus is the visa waiver program and the ability of terrorists to buy guns,” he said.
 
Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinSenators ask for removal of tariffs on EU food, wine, spirits: report Senate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Yates spars with GOP at testy hearing MORE (D-Calif.) is the lead sponsor of legislation to tighten up the visa waiver program as well as another bill to prevent people on the terrorist watch list from buying firearms.
 
Senate Republican leaders earlier in the week declined to comment on barring people on the watch list from purchasing guns.