Homeland Security, the FBI and the intelligence community would have to sign off on every Syrian refugee President Obama wants to bring to the U.S. under a bill House Republicans introduced Wednesday and are speeding toward a vote later this week.
Dubbed the American Safety Against Foreign Enemies Act of 2015 — or the American SAFE Act — the legislation would not stop Mr. Obama’s goal of admitting 10,000 refugees this year, but it would force him to impose new checks.
It doesn’t go as far as many Republicans had wanted, nor does it give governors the power to veto having refugees resettled in their states, as many of them had requested.
But it does add another layer of security for lawmakers who say they don’t trust Mr. Obama at this point.
The bill will go to the House Rules Committee Wednesday, with a full House floor vote expected Thursday.
It would apply to future refugees from both Iraq and Syria.
Mr. Obama and refugee advocates are feverishly fighting back, saying opposition to Syrian refugees is anti-Muslim and could violate U.S. treaty obligations.
“The House Republican legislation would immediately shut down all refugee resettlement from Syria and Iraq — possibly for many years — and severely handicap future refugee resettlement around the world,” three top Democrats, Reps. Bennie G. Thompson, Adam Schiff and Zoe Lofgren, said in a joint statement.