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White House Threatens To Veto GOP Refugee Bill

HuffPost logo HuffPost 18/11/2015 Elise Foley

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama won't sign a House Republican bill meant to prevent Syrian and Iraqi refugees from coming to the U.S., administration officials announced on Wednesday.

"This legislation would introduce unnecessary and impractical requirements that would unacceptably hamper our efforts to assist some of the most vulnerable people in the world, many of whom are victims of terrorism, and would undermine our partners in the Middle East and Europe in addressing the Syrian refugee crisis," the statement of administration policy reads.

A veto would be necessary "given the lives at stake and the critical importance to our partners in the Middle East and Europe of American leadership in addressing the Syrian refugee crisis," the statement concludes.

The House is set to vote on the bill on Thursday. If it passes, the Senate will also have to approve the measure before it goes to the president's desk.

The legislation seeks to put a "pause" on admitting Syrian and Iraqi refugees by adding vetting requirements to an already lengthy screening process . The bill would require  the FBI, which is already involved in screening, to conduct a background check on every Syrian and Iraqi refugee applicant and certify that each individual had passed. Next, the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and the Director of National Intelligence would each have to sign off personally on every person admitted from the two countries. The DHS inspector general would report each month to Congress on the approval and rejection numbers.

Obama, who previously proposed admitting 10,000 Syrian refugees by the end of the year, has been outspoken in his insistence that refugee resettlement should continue.

"I cannot think of a more potent recruitment tool for ISIL than some of the rhetoric that's been coming out of here during the course of this debate," he said on Tuesday .

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