National Security

McConnell pressures Dems on refugee bill

Greg Nash
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is pressuring Democrats ahead of a procedural vote Wednesday on legislation freezing the acceptance of refugees from Syria and Iraq.
“I would urge colleagues across the aisle to treat this issue with the seriousness that it deserves,” the Republican leader said Tuesday.
“This debate should be driven by facts and common sense, not fear mongering about targeting widows and orphans or other straw man arguments that the White House has made from time to time.” 
{mosads}The Senate is expected to hold a procedural vote Wednesday on a House-approved bill that would effectively freeze the acceptance of refugees until the administration can certify they aren’t a national security threat. Republicans will need 60 votes to move the legislation forward, meaning they need at least six Democratic votes.

McConnell added that both Americans and refugees coming to the country “deserve a vetting process they can have confidence in.”

“The American people are concerned, and they’re looking to us to lead with both safety and compassion,” he said. “I’m calling on colleagues to help us do so tomorrow.”
The vote follows the Justice Department’s announcement that it has arrested two Iraqi-born Palestinians who had entered the country as refugees on terrorism-related charges. The arrests sparked calls to pass the tigher restrictions on refugees.
It’s unclear whether Senate Democrats will allow a debate on the bill, or whether they will seek to halt the legislation by voting against the procedural motion.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said on Tuesday that he would “have more to say” about the legislation on Wednesday. 
The procedural vote comes after Reid, separately, threatened to try to force Republicans to vote on GOP frontrunner Donald Trump’s call to ban Muslims from entering the country. He didn’t specify what legislation Democrats could try to use to get a vote. 
Tags Donald Trump Harry Reid Mitch McConnell

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