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Steve King bucks GOP vote on Syrian refugees


Steve King bucks GOP vote on Syrian refugees

House bill not “strong enough”, King says

AP – U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, made a surprising decision Thursday when he was one of only two majority- party Republicans to vote against a measure that would require strict scrutiny on refugees coming to the U.S. from Mideast strife.

The issue is a hot topic that has ramped up after last week's attacks in Paris, and Republicans have been seeking safeguards to ensure that none of the refugees are terrorists who could harm Americans. That led the Republican House to put forth the HR4038 resolution, which would prevent any refugees from Syria or Iraq from entering the U.S. until the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security and Director of National Intelligence certify that none of them are dangerous.

King, the Siouxland lawmaker who has been a hawk at defending the U.S. from terrorists, voted against the measure, which passed 289-137.

The President Barack Obama administration plans to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees into the U.S. in 2016.

In a statement release later in the day King said: 'I voted against the American SAFE Act because it fails to restore Congress' Article 1 authority over admissions of migrants to the United States. How can we trust this Obama Administration who will not utter the words 'radical Islamic jihad' to accurately screen Syrian and Iraqi refugees as required in this bill?

'For that reason, I submitted an amendment to rules, which was ultimately not adopted, that would create international safe zones for refugees in their homeland. The safety and security of the American people is paramount. I respect the House trying to find a solution but I do not believe this was the right or strong enough one,' King said.

The apparent expectation by the Iowa Republican Party had been that King would vote with Republicans, since the state party put out a release thanking all three Iowa Republican congressman for voting for the resolution. That release went out without noticing that King voted 'No.' One hour later Thursday afternoon, the party sent out a correction: 'We learned after the first release that Rep. King voted against the bill. We apologize for the error.'

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