A congressman who has been trying for months to stop President Obama’s Syrian refugee plan urged his colleagues Friday to use the power of the purse to cut off funds for the program.
Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas, intends to offer a proposal to do just that with an amendment to the giant, end-of-year spending bill that Congress must pass to keep the government open.
“This is our last shot at stopping this program for this year,” he said during an appearance on “The Laura Ingraham Show.” “Let’s get this done. Let’s defund this refugee program and keep Americans safe.”
Obama has plowed ahead with his plan to resettle 10,000 refugees from war-torn Syria. That’s despite doubts about the adequacy of screening procedures, polls saying a majority of Americans oppose it, and admissions from his own national security team that they cannot guarantee terrorists will not exploit the system to gain entry into the U.S.
Republican leaders in the House of Representatives have favored an approach that requires administration officials to personally affirm that each refugee coming into the country poses no security risk. A bill imposing those requirements overwhelmingly passed the House last month.
But critics argue the bill is insufficient and have pushed for a complete shutdown of the program. Babin said he thinks a tougher approach could attract support from both political parties. He noted that 47 Democrats voted for the bill tightening background screenings.
“I personally believe we would get a lot of Democrats who would vote for this, because it’s a huge issue,” Babin said. “It’s an enormous issue.”
Babin faulted Obama’s leadership. “He’s basically going to leave it to the next president to clean up the mess he’s created with his weak foreign policy,” he said.
Babin predicted trouble for Republican leaders if they try to push a spending bill that leaves intact funding for the refugee program and Planned Parenthood.
“I will be unable to support that, and I know a lot of my colleagues will be unable to support that, too,” he said.