House passes bill to step up background checks on refugees

WASHINGTON (MEDIA GENERAL) – In a Congress that tends to take time working through issues, the House of Representatives seemed to move what is called the SAFE Act through at a record pace.

Only two days passed between when lawmakers started writing the bill from when the bill was approved on the House floor.

“This is an urgent matter, and that is why we’re dealing with it urgently,” Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) said.

Republicans, along with 47 Democrats, voted to make background checks on Syrian and Iraqi refugees tougher.

“We want to make sure have the most robust vetting process in the history of this country,” Rep. Todd Young (R-IN) said.

Young does not think the U.S. does enough to make sure Syrians coming into the country are who they say they are.

“ISIS has already indicated they want to attack further places in the West including the United States of America,” he said.

It already takes a refugee a year and a half to two years to be cleared to come to the United States. They must be investigated by the FBI, state department and several other organizations.

The SAFE Act requires the FBI, Director of National Intelligence and Department of Homeland Security to directly certify to Congress that each person allowed into the country does not pose a threat to the U.S.

“Our own law enforcement experts are telling us they don’t have confidence that they can detect or block with the current standards in place,” Speaker Ryan said.

Despite the House passing the bill, it is far from a done deal.  The SAFE Act still must make it through the Senate, and President Barack Obama has said he will do whatever he can to keep the bill from becoming law.

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