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Byrne Bill Would Defund Obama’s Syrian Refugee Resettlement Program

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Wednesday, November 18, 2015, Alabama Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) introduced legislation to defund the Administration’s controversial Syrian refugee resettlement program.  HR4031, the Defund the Syrian Refugee Resettlement Program Act of 2015, eliminates all funding from going toward resettling refugees from Syria.

Congressman Byrne said that he believes that defunding the program gives Congress the best opportunity to actually halt the Syrian refugee resettlement program.

Representative Byrne said in a statement: “The reality remains that we cannot adequately screen individuals coming into the United States from Syria, so we must use every legislative tool at our disposal to stop the Syrian refugee resettlement program. I strongly believe our best chance for success is to use the ‘power of the purse’ to cut off funding to the program, and my bill would achieve that goal.”

Rep. Byrne continued, “The top priority of the federal government is to keep the American people safe, and we should never lose sight of that goal. Despite what President Obama may believe, our nation is in a state of war and that requires major precautions to be taken.”

Long before the terror attacks that killed 132 innocent people in Paris, Rep. Byrne has spoken out about what he believes is a clear national security threat posed by allowing a mass influx of Syrian refugees into the United States.  Rep. Byrne sent a letter to the State Department on September 17 requesting additional information about the screening process Syrian refugees must undergo. He also attended a classified briefing to learn more about the screening process.

The State Department has been reluctant to share a lot of information about the vetting process, even with members of Congress.

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On Monday, Rep. Byrne sent a letter to President Obama on Monday demanding he halt the Syrian refugee resettlement program.

Rep. Byrne has also co-sponsored HR3573, the Refugee Resettlement Oversight and Security Act.

The bill would give Congress the power to block any refugee resettlement plan and would require Congress to approve any plan before refugees can arrive in the United States.

Rep. Byrne told MSNBC’s Brian Williams, “The things that many Members of Congress are very concerned about is the Syrian refugee program… We have a very credible threat from ISIS that their trying to sneak their terrorist fighters in with these refugees.”

Republican Presidential Candidate Dr. Ben Carson Ben Carson is collection petitions asking Congress to defund President Obama’s Syrian refugee resettlement plan.  Carson said in a statement: “In addition, I’ve sent a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan calling on the US House of Representatives to terminate all public funding for any ongoing federal programs that seek to resettle refugees and/or migrants from Syria into the United States, effective immediately.”

Dr. Carson said, “It would require a suspension of our intellect to think that ISIS will not work to infiltrate terrorists into the United States disguised as refugees or migrants.  I fully understand that many of these refugees are themselves fleeing terror, which is why America and its allies can and should help them to re-settle somewhere else in the region.  But in light of the horrific attacks in Paris and the unambiguous threats from ISIS to bring the same bloodshed to our shores, President Obama’s plan simply must not move forward. The safety of the American people should be the number one priority.”

Congressman Bradley Byrne represents Alabama’s First Congressional District.

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Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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