Campaign Updates

Byrne introduces bill to ‘eliminate all funding’ for Syrian refugee resettlement

Posted on November 18th, 2015

Source – Yellowhammer

By Cliff Sims

WASHINGTON — Alabama Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL1), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, on Wednesday introduced legislation that would defund the Syrian refugee resettlement program. 100 Syrian refugees are currently slated to be housed by Catholic Social Services in Mobile, which is located within Byrne’s south Alabama congressional district.

The Defund the Syrian Refugee Resettlement Program Act of 2015 would, as its name suggests, eliminate all funding for resettling refugees from Syria in the United States. Congressman Byrne said he believes utilizing Congress’s power of the purse offers the best opportunity to actually halt the program.

“The reality remains that we cannot adequately screen individuals coming into the United States from Syria, so we must use every legislative tool at our disposal to stop the Syrian refugee resettlement program,” he said. “I strongly believe our best chance for success is to use the ‘power of the purse’ to cut off funding to the program, and my bill would achieve that goal.

“The top priority of the federal government is to keep the American people safe, and we should never lose sight of that goal. Despite what President Obama may believe, our nation is in a state of war and that requires major precautions to be taken.”

Byrne has frequently spoken out about the national security threat posed by allowing a mass influx of Syrian refugees into the United States. He sent a letter to the State Department on September 17 requesting additional information about the screening process Syrian refugees must undergo. He also attended a classified briefing to learn more about the process, but came away unconvinced that it was thorough enough.

Byrne then sent a letter to President Obama on Monday demanding he halt the Syrian refugee resettlement program completely. He also co-sponsored the Refugee Resettlement Oversight and Security Act, which would give Congress the power to block any refugee resettlement plan and would require Congress to approve any plan before refugees can arrive in the United States.

The Alabama Congressional delegation has played a leading role in the debate over Syrian refugee resettlement, particularly in the wake of this past weekend’s terrorist attacks in Paris.

Senators Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions have created a powerful one-two punch in the Senate that could lead to the program being defunded.

The current funding proposal before Congress would not only authorize the President’s plan to bring in 85,000 refugees on top of the current, historical annual immigration flow, but would also allow for an unlimited amount of money to be spent on lifetime welfare and benefits for refugees.