Safety First

Nov 19, 2015
Press
Veterans

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“ISIS must be dismantled and Assad removed, so Syrians can live safely in their homeland.”

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) voted to put safety first and urged the President to address the core of the crisis in Syria. H.R. 4038, the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act of 2015 passed the House today with strong bipartisan support, 298-137.

This bill was passed to keep the American people safe after the FBI and Department of Homeland Security told Congress that they do not currently have the necessary intelligence to properly vet refugees.

“America has a long history of providing safe haven for many of the world’s most vulnerable refugees, yet we must ensure that we do not allow terrorists to exploit refugee resettlement to gain entry to the United States,” McMorris Rodgers said. “To protect the American people, this legislation will place a hold on any further resettlement until these determinations can be made. It stipulates that refugees from Iraq and Syria may only be admitted if the Department of Homeland Security, the Director of the FBI, and the Director of National Intelligence certify to Congress that the refugee is not a security threat to the American people.”

In a speech on the House floor following passage of the SAFE Act, McMorris Rodgers called on the President to address the core of the crisis in Syria.

“ISIS must be dismantled and Assad removed, so Syrians can live safely in their homeland,” McMorris Rodgers said. “The heartbreaking attacks in Paris are a reminder that the United States, working with our international partners, must provide the leadership and commitment necessary to destroy ISIS and halt Bashar al-Assad’s mass atrocities—the causes of the world’s most serious terrorist threat and the most significant refugee crisis since WWII.”

Rep. McMorris Rodgers, remarks as delivered on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives:

Mr. Speaker,

I rise today because I am deeply concerned about the future of American leadership abroad.

For nearly five years, this administration has defended a containment strategy, even as ISIS rapidly escalates. As Paris tragically demonstrates, containment as a strategy is as ineffective as it is morally bankrupt. It allowed for the development of the world’s largest humanitarian disaster since WWII, while placing us and our allies at grave risk.

This refugee crisis is a direct response to Assad’s mass atrocities against Syrian civilians and the associated expansion of ISIS. I call on the President to choose and execute a comprehensive strategy that destroys ISIS, stops Assad’s reign of terror, and allows refugees to return home and rebuild their lives.

It is time for real commitment and real courage from our Commander-in-Chief. The American people, and the world, are waiting.

Thank you. I yield back.

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