House Republicans Seek to Cut Off Funding for Syrian Resettlement Program

The growing momentum behind new legislation, still being drafted, sets up a future clash between the White House and Congress.

John Hudson reports: Following the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris, House Republicans are proposing to block federal funding for resettling Syrian refugees until a series of new conditions are met, Foreign Policy has learned.

 “Currently, 60 million people worldwide have been forced from their homes or are otherwise considered refugees — higher than at any other time in recorded history.”

The growing momentum behind new legislation, still being drafted, sets up a future clash between the White House and Congress as the Obama administration seeks to offer residency to 10,000 Syrian refugees who currently live outside the conflict zone. Currently, 60 million people worldwide have been forced from their homes or are otherwise considered refugees — higher than at any other time in recorded history. An estimated six million to eight million displaced people are still in Syria, and more than four million Syrian refugees are in Jordan, Turkey, and Lebanon.

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“The 15 Republican lawmakers pushing the legislation aren’t the only politicians looking to slam the brakes on Obama’s resettlement program. The governors of 15 U.S. states have already said they would not allow Syrian refugees to live in their states.”

The draft legislation, a copy of which was obtained by FP, is backed by Reps. Brian Babin, Lou Barletta, Diane Black, Mo Brooks, Jeff Duncan, John Duncan, Blake Farenthold, Louie Gohmert, Frank Guinta, Gregg Harper, Walter Jones, Steve King, Mike Pompeo, Mark Meadows, and Bill Posey. It would prevent funding for the resettlement of refugees from the Middle East and North Africa until authorities adopt “processes to ensure that refugee and related programs are not able to be co-opted by would-be terrorists.” Once those processes are in place, details of the security checks must be given to Congress in both classified and public forums, and the administration must establish a “longer-term monitoring process” to track refugees in the U.S.

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“Additionally, House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul plans to raise the issue of blocking Syrian refugee resettlement at a Tuesday meeting with fellow Republicans, according to two congressional sources.”

The 15 Republican lawmakers pushing the legislation aren’t the only politicians looking to slam the brakes on Obama’s resettlement program. The governors of 15 U.S. states have already said they would not allow Syrian refugees to live in their states. Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions (R) has proposed legislation to restrict U.S. funding for refugee resettlement and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul (R) has said he will introduce legislation to prevent Syrian refugees from obtaining U.S. visas. Read the rest of this entry »


Dems’ Objections to OTC Birth Control?

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Republicans Are Behind It

S. E. Cupp writes: A long, long time ago — way back in 2013 — pro-choice progressives united in a new clarion call to make prescription birth control available over the counter. Now, for political reasons, they’re changing their tune.

“So why can’t we have this, when the public and the medical establishment both think it’s a great idea?

—  Progressive journalist Amanda Marcotte, two years ago

If you’re one of the 10 million women in America who uses the pill, the prospect is nothing short of life-changing. Going to the doctor to refill the pill every month or even a couple times a year is annoying and time-consuming. And, according to many doctors, it’s unnecessary. The pill is safe to take without a prescription.

[Also see – Over-the-Counter Birth Control Bill Provokes Irrational Ire on the Left]

“So why can’t we have this, when the public and the medical establishment both think it’s a great idea?” asked progressive journalist Amanda Marcotte two years ago.

[More – Liberals could lose the ‘war on women’ talking point]

Indeed. Just last year, far-left women’s groups Planned Parenthood and Emily’s List also thought making birth control available OTC was a great idea.

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“Why the about-face? Well, the story the libs are going with is that the bill will actually make the pill more expensive once it’s no longer prescription…Which would be a fair point if it were true.”

And according to a Reason-Rupe poll, so do 70 percent of Americans.

Well, in an uncanny and highly unusual turn of events, lawmakers in Washington actually listened. Just this week, legislators introduced a bill that would encourage drug companies to apply to sell contraceptives without a prescription.

[Read the full text here, at TownHall.com]

But if Republican Sens. Cory Gardner of Colorado and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, along with four other GOP senators, were expecting flowers from Planned Parenthood and others for their bill, the Allowing Greater Access to Safe and Effective Contraception Act, they should brace for disappointment. Suddenly, the idea doesn’t sound so great, and the former supporters aren’t mincing words. Read the rest of this entry »