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House Speaker Paul Ryan: GOP could block Syrian refugee funding

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Paul Ryan on "Fox News Sunday"

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Paul Ryan is increasingly in the spotlight as Republicans urge him to lead an effort to block funding for the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the United States.

The newly-elected speaker said Monday that he had asked President Barack Obama’s administration to provide a classified briefing for all House members on the Paris attacks amid reports that one of the terrorists involved entered Europe as part of the wave of refugees fleeing Syria’s civil war.

An aide to the GOP leader said it’s not clear when that will take place but it doesn’t appear it will be Monday.

In a radio interview with Bill Bennett, Ryan also said he has tasked all committees of jurisdiction to come up with recommendations about how to ensure the thousands of Syrian refugees the president wants to settle in the U.S. won’t be involved in terrorism.

“Look, we’ve always been a generous nation taking in refugees. But this is a unique situation. This is a situation where you have single men coming over, which is not women and children,” he said.

Republican presidential candidates including retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee pressed Ryan to move against the White House

Ryan said House leaders are considering adding refugee language to the large government funding bill that must pass by December 11.

“We’ve got to make sure we’re protecting ourselves,” Ryan said. “So that’s what we’re looking at. What is the best option — not just so we have an issue to talk about but so we have a result, which is to make sure we are not complicit or even facilitating of having someone come in who would seek to do us harm from Syria.”

“We’re trying to figure out what is the best legislative option we have to make sure we can prevent something like this from happening,” Ryan added.

Senate GOP leaders are also looking at the question but no decisions have been made, according to one leadership aide. Classified briefings are also in the works for senators but are not finalized yet.

Ryan’s comments come as Carson asked the Speaker to move a bill that “terminates all ongoing funding for any federal programs that seek to resettle refugees and/or migrants from Syria into the United States, effective immediately.”

“Congress I think should defund all the programs that allow all these people to be here. Immediately. Today,” Carson said Monday in Nevada.

Huckabee, another 2016 contender, similarly heaped pressure on Ryan.

“Speaker Ryan needs to make it clear that if the President won’t stand to protect America from wholesale open borders, then Republicans will,” Huckabee said in a statement.

He even suggested Ryan might need to give up the job he just gained weeks ago over the issue.

“If Ryan will not lead and reject the importation of those fleeing the Middle East without assurances that we can separate refugees from terrorists, then Speaker Ryan needs to step down today and let someone else lead,” Huckabee said.


  • davidfarrar

    Congress should quickly pass a law allowing only nonMuslim Syrian religious minority refugees (women and children) to enter the United States as authentic “refugees” if their fighting-aged menfolk remained in Syria or Turkey to build up a fighting force to fight against ISIL.

  • Nancy Fagarass

    As a Taxpaying citizen for over 50 years, I am totally against bringing any Syrian or Muslim refugees into the USA. The president and governments cannot vet these people with 100 percent security. At this point our government could not vet Howdy Doody, let alone terrorists implanted into thousands of refugees from the Middle East. I find it so interesting and awaking that their own Muslim countries do not want them? Where is Saudi Arabia with their trillions of dollars to help their own people, won’t let them into their country. Surprise they are too smart, let the USA and Euroe take the terrorists in.
    The majority of the refugees are young men, fighting men that are in camps ready to bring terror into our country. We know Obama wants as many Muslims into this country, to implant terrorists and sleepers to,destroy the USA.
    We bring in these refugees we bring in diseases and people with no skills, so we get the support them for life. Your obligation is to take care of the TAXPAYING CITIZENS! KEEP THEM SAFE AND PROVIDE FOR THEIR WELFARE! Vets first, seniors, first, sick first…TAKE CARE OF USA FIRST!
    Send supplies to the camps to help the refugees, but NO SYRIAN REFUGEES COME INTO THIs
    COUNTRY. Does anyone in Congress or Washington have the guts to stand up for America and
    Stop OBAMA from destroying this country. If we let these refugees in the terror attacks are on your head for not stopping Obama. IMPEACH THE PRESIDENT FOR TREASON AND DESTROYING AMERICA.

  • chet kaminski

    To the Speaker : Paul Ryan: Please do not let any of these Syrian refugees in this country. This is a “Trojan Horse” for sure. We have open borders as it is… country can exists and maintain it’s freedom without closing it’s borders…..never mind giving refuge to these people who we can’y “vet”. A concerned veteran

  • chet kaminski

    To the Speaker : Paul Ryan: Please do not let any of these Syrian refugees in this country. This is a “Trojan Horse” for sure. We have open borders as it is… country can exists and maintain it’s freedom without closing it’s borders…..never mind giving refuge to these people who we can’t “vet”. A concerned veteran

    • Greg Crownover

      When Donald Trump first entered the presidential race, I thought that he was a
      complete joke, along with many other voters. However, the more angry I become
      at our current Republican ‘leadership’, I’m just about ready to jump on the Trump Train. I’m so tired of hearing our leadership say how they’re going to stand up to the President, then just bend over for him every chance they get. This president doesn’t care about the law, yet you do nothing about it but talk. We’re so fed up with the rhetoric,
      do something!!
      Issues like funding for the resettlement of Syrian refugees and allowing billions of dollars to be spent on services for illegal aliens (I thought that you were going to secure the border) are good examples of how our ‘leaders’ are failing
      to listen to, and represent our party.
      Believe it or not, we’re not stupid. We can see the games you’re playing with the Budget and funding for Planned Parenthood.
      Wait, I hear something approaching in the distance, sounds like a train….

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