- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The White House vowed Wednesday to veto the bill to pause Syrian refugees, saying that stiff requirements that the FBI and Homeland Security certify each refugee are “untenable.”

That is likely to only heighten suspicion on Capitol Hill, where Republicans and some Democrats say they don’t trust the current checks, which President Obama says are good enough.

“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,” the White House said in its veto threat. “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.”

House Republicans have scheduled a vote Thursday on a bill that would have required the Homeland Security, FBI and intelligence chiefs to sign off on every refugee. FBI Director James Comey earlier this year had said there were gaps in the databases that could hamstring background checks on the 10,000 refugees from Syria that Mr. Obama wants to resettle in the U.S. this year.

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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