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Vote Tally Count House passes bill to expand background checks on Syrian & Iraqi refugees

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Individual votes at end of post from Gov Track:

A bill that would require background checks on Iraqi and Syrian refugees hoping to enter the United States has moved quickly through congressional procedures. H.R. 4038, the American Security Against Foreign Enemies SAFE Act, received a House vote on November 19, just two days after it was introduced. The vote succeeded 289-137 with almost all Republicans and 47 Democrats voting in favor. The President has said he would veto the bill if it also passes the Senate.

Millions of refugees from Syria and Iraq have been forced out of their homes as a result of the ongoing civil war in Syria and militarization by the Islamic State (ISIS). Many of these refugees hope to find sanctuary in the United States and European countries. H.R. 4038 would expand the screening process for those refugees attempting to enter the United States by requiring the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to conduct their own background checks in addition to the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS). Any refugee would be prohibited from entry until the FBI certifies that they pose no security threat. Refugees would only be admitted with the unanimous agreement of the FBI, DHS, and Director of National Intelligence.

The bill was introduced by House Republicans after a report that an individual who may have participated in the Nov. 13 attack on Paris had a Syrian passport and matched fingerprints with someone who entered through Greece in October. “Top Administration counterterrorism and security officials have repeatedly told Congress that the current refugee vetting process is insufficient to ensure terrorists are not admitted as refugees,” House Republicans wrote in a summary of the bill. Republicans proposed H.R. 4038 on the belief that the bill will prevent possible attacks from occurring within the United States.

But Democratic Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD5) said the current vetting process is just fine. “The bill rests on a faulty assumption that the European refugee screening process is similar to the United States screening process. This is entirely inaccurate,” he wrote in today’s Daily Whip. The United States vets refugees for one-and-a-half to two years prior to allowing refugees to enter the country. Rather than improve security, Hoyer said that H.R. 4038 would prevent refugees from entering the country by making the vetting process overly inefficient. He described the bill as a “knee-jerk reaction” to a situation in Europe dissimilar to our own. Even with Democratic leadership against the bill, one-fourth of Democrats still voted to pass it in the House vote.

114th Congress

Nov 19, 2015



On Passage of the Bill in the House

  AYE 289
242 47
  NO 137
2 135
2 6

Vote Details

Statistically Notable Votes
Aye   D   Garamendi, John CA 3rd
Aye   D   Brownley, Julia CA 26th
Aye   D   Aguilar, Pete CA 31st
Aye   D   Hahn, Janice CA 44th
Aye   D   Polis, Jared CO 2nd
No   R   King, Steve IA 4th
Aye   D   Lynch, Stephen MA 8th
Aye   D   Keating, William MA 9th
Aye   D   Ashford, Brad NE 2nd
Aye   D   Norcross, Donald NJ 1st
Aye   D   Israel, Steve NY 3rd
Aye   D   Rice, Kathleen NY 4th
Aye   D   Slaughter, Louise NY 25th
No   R   Jones, Walter NC 3rd
Aye   D   Kaptur, Marcy OH 9th
Aye   D   Langevin, Jim RI 2nd
Aye   D   Vela, Filemon TX 34th
Aye   D   Doggett, Lloyd TX 35th
Aye   D   Connolly, Gerald VA 11th

Statistically notable votes are the votes that are most surprising, or least predictable, given how other members of each voter’s party voted and other factors.

Complete breakdown of individual votes here at Gov Track

Filed under: Immigration Tagged: H.R.4038, Refugees, Safe Act


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