Obama Issues Veto Threat for GOP’s Syrian Refugee Gum Up the Works Bill

President Obama has issues yet another veto threat to the House Republimen regarding their Syrian refugee bill (aka, H.R. 4038 – American SAFE Act of 2015).

NoRoom

In a statement of administration policy, the White House made the president’s veto threat clear:

The Administration’s highest priority is to ensure the safety and security of the American people. That is why refugees of all nationalities, including Syrians and Iraqis, considered for admission to the United States undergo the most rigorous and thorough security screening of anyone admitted into the United States. This legislation would introduce unnecessary and impractical requirements that would unacceptably hamper our efforts to assist some of the most vulnerable people in the world, many of whom are victims of terrorism, and would undermine our partners in the Middle East and Europe in addressing the Syrian refugee crisis. The Administration therefore strongly opposes H.R. 4038.

The current screening process involves multiple Federal intelligence, security, and law enforcement agencies, including the National Counterterrorism Center, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Departments of Homeland Security (DHS), State, and Defense, all aimed at ensuring that those admitted do not pose a threat to our country. These safeguards include biometric (fingerprint) and biographic checks, medical screenings, and a lengthy interview by specially trained DHS officers who scrutinize the applicant’s explanation of individual circumstances to assess whether the applicant meets statutory requirements to qualify as a refugee and that he or she does not present security concerns to the United States. Mindful of the particular conditions of the Syria crisis, Syrian refugees – who have had their lives uprooted by conflict and continue to live amid conditions so harsh that many set out on dangerous, often deadly, journeys seeking new places of refuge – go through additional forms of security screening, including a thorough pre-interview analysis of each individual’s refugee application. Additionally, DHS interviewers receive extensive, Syria-specific training before meeting with refugee applicants. Of the 2,174 Syrian refugees admitted to the United States since September 11, 2001, not a single one has been arrested or deported on terrorism-related grounds.

No Room at the InnThe certification requirement at the core of H.R. 4038 is untenable and would provide no meaningful additional security for the American people, instead serving only to create significant delays and obstacles in the fulfillment of a vital program that satisfies both humanitarian and national security objectives. No refugee is approved for travel to the United States under the current system until the full array of required security vetting measures have been completed. Thus, the substantive result sought through this draft legislation is already embedded into the program. The Administration recognizes the importance of a strong, evolving security screening in our refugee admissions program and devotes considerable resources to continually improving the Nation’s robust security screening protocols. The measures called for in this bill would divert resources from these effortsiven the lives at stake and the critical importance to our partners in the Middle East and Europe of American leadership in addressing the Syrian refugee crisis, if the President were presented with H.R. 4038, he would veto the bill.

The House of #Republimen are slated to vote TOMORROW on this wasteful showboat legislation. Instead of helping to resolve the crisis before Syrian refugees, H.R. 4038 is nothing but dreadful political grandstanding that directly enhances ISIS recruitment efforts worldwide.

Potential refugees ARE already vetted. But, hypocritical #Republimen, who claim to hate wasteful spending and bureaucracy, are once again wasting what limited legislative time that is available for critical legislative action, taking a showboat vote on a useless, and truly wasteful bill that will seriously add to the bureaucracy and increase costs.  So much for being the small government fiscally responsible crowd.

H.R. 4038 is one bill that President Obama can’t veto fast enough.

How Democratic presidential candidates propose to handle terror threats at home and abroad, in light of the Paris attacks and the shifting threat of the Islamic State:

Senator Bernie Sanders on PBS News Hour with Gwen Ifill:

Secretary Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail today:

(I couldn’t find any YouTube video from Gov. Martin O’Malley subsequent to the debate and the Paris attack on this issue at the time of this post.)

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Democrats Release New Video and Fact Sheet: “Couldn’t Be More Plain”

Oct 6, 2015 | Press Release from Rep. Elija Cummings, Ranking Member on Select Committee on Benghazi

WASHINGTON— Today, Democrats on the Select Committee on Benghazi released a new video and fact sheet rebutting claims made by Chairman Trey Gowdy that the Committee is not focused on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  The new video and fact sheet come after Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy admitted on national television that the purpose of the Select Committee has always been to damage Hillary Clinton’s bid for President.

View the supporting dates and shows when Chairman Gowdy mentioned Clinton here.

FACT SHEET:

How the Benghazi Committee Targeted Hillary Clinton

Gowdy Cancelled All Planned Hearings Other Than Hillary Clinton’s After NYT Email Story

  • Before the New York Times broke its story on March 2 about Hillary’s Clinton’s emails, Gowdy had sent to Committee Members an investigative plan that set out monthly hearings  with all the different agencies involved in preparing for and responding to the attacks in Benghazi, including the State Department, the Defense Department, and the Intelligence Community.
  • After the New York Times’ email story broke on March 2, however, Gowdy completely abandoned this plan and began focusing almost exclusively on Hillary Clinton.
  • Since then, Gowdy has not held any of the hearings on his schedule, and his upcoming hearing with Hillary Clinton is the only hearing now scheduled.
  • For example, Gowdy abandoned the hearing he had planned for April with former Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary Leon Panetta.
  • The Committee has never held even one public hearing with anyone from the Department of Defense.  The Committee has held only one hearing with an intelligence official, but it was with the CIA’s head of Legislative Affairs regarding the status of document production.

Gowdy Dropped Key Interviews with Top Defense and Intelligence Leaders

  • Gowdy also abandoned plans he had made in February to start conducting interviews of the following top defense and intelligence leaders in April:  former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, former CIA Director David Petraeus, General Martin Dempsey, and former Director of the National Counterterrorism Center Matt Olsen.
  • He never invited any of these defense or intelligence leaders for interviews.
  • Gowdy then announced that he planned to start conducting the following interviews in June:  former Defense Secretary Panetta, General Martin Dempsey, and General Carter Ham.
  • Those interviews were also abandoned.

Gowdy Scheduled New Interviews and Depositions of Hillary Clinton’s Associates 

Gowdy Stepped Up Aggressive Press Campaign Against Hillary Clinton

  • Since March, Gowdy’s press releases have focused almost entirely on Secretary Clinton.
  • Over the past nine months, he has issued 22 press releases related to Secretary Clinton (including one on Sidney Blumenthal’s emails with Clinton), but only 5 press releases on any other topic during that period.
  • Of the 5 non-Clinton press releases, three (1, 2, 3) are about the State Department’s compliance with document production, one marks the anniversary of 9/11, and one is Gowdy’s interim progress report.
  • The only documents Gowdy has publicly released over the past 17 months were Clinton’s emails with Sidney Blumenthal, and Gowdy did this unilaterally with no debate or vote by the Select Committee.
  • At the same time, he has blocked the public release of Blumenthal’s deposition transcript, which would reveal all the questions Republicans asked about Hillary Clinton and other issues that have nothing to do with Benghazi.
  • Almost immediately after the interview with Cheryl Mills, Republicans began leaking inaccurate information to damage Clinton with unsubstantiated or previously debunked allegations, while refusing to release the complete transcript.
  • Gowdy refused to investigate or condemn a leak that made more unsubstantiated allegations against Clinton despite the fact that Politico was forced to correct a front-page story that relied on apparently doctored information about an email produced to the Select Committee.

Gowdy’s Taxpayer-Funded Political Campaign Against Clinton