Tags: belgium | bombings | terror | refugees

House Intel Chair: After Belgium, Stop Refugees

Image: House Intel Chair: After Belgium, Stop Refugees
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif. (Andrew Harnik/AP)

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Thursday, 24 Mar 2016 11:29 AM Current | Bio | Archive

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes did not hesitate on the urgent need to keep America safe after the Belgium attacks:  Stop the refugees from coming here in the first place.

Nunes said Congress needs to act on a temporary ban on all refugees entering the U.S. or risk what happened in Brussels.

“I remain concerned about the refugee programs,” said Nunes, who spoke to reporters at the U.S. Capitol, “I think the Congress should put a pause on this.”

The grandson of Portuguese immigrants emphasized that “this is coming from someone who would like to see our immigration system reformed. We want our country to be a place where people who are downtrodden can come to.”

But, he quickly added, “with the situation on the ground, with the number of people that we are dealing with, it is impossible to vet these refugees properly. So I think the best thing the House can do is let’s just put a pause on it and try to figure it out.”

Nunes recalled how the House in December voted resoundingly for the Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) act to delay the number of Syrian refugees admitted to the United States. The measure sailed through the House with the vote of every Republican as well as 47 Democrats. But it has since languished in the Senate, where Democratic opponents have kept the SAFE act from coming to a vote.

“I don’t know what the Democrats in the Senate are thinking,” Nunes told me, “Because the more refugees that are coming in here, the more the chances increase of a threat at this point. This is coming. from someone who appreciates the refugee programs.”

I noted to Nunes that Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas, had also offered legislation to defund the Office of Refugee Resettlement but that the funding was nonetheless inserted in the Omnibus Spending Bill. Babin told me last Friday that “the issue of defunding that office is by no means dead” and we would try to pursue it when Congress returns later in April.

But Nunes sees this side of the issue differently from Babin.

“Look, I think the whole idea — and this goes back a long way and I don’t want to go back in history — the idea that the House of Representatives itself has the ability to defund is just not true,” said Nunes. “You can defund in the House but the Constitution clearly says we control the purse strings and that it starts in the House. But we have to get an agreement by the Senate and the signature of the president.”

He went on to emphasize that “if you’re looking at political strategy and what has to be done, I think at this point, pressure has got to be put on the Democrats to make progress on this legislation.”

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.
 


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House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes did not hesitate on the urgent need to keep America safe after the Belgium attacks: Stop the refugees from coming here in the first place.
belgium, bombings, terror, refugees
483
2016-29-24
Thursday, 24 Mar 2016 11:29 AM
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