Congress’Â “feel-good” bill theHouse passed Thursday to tighten Syrian refugee screening is“weak” and an effort to stop membersÂ fromdefunding the program, one of the two Republicans that votedagainst the measure told a local radio show.
“I think the reason thatÂ this bill came up,and, as weak as itis, is to stop any effort by members of Congress, includingmyself, that would like to defund the budget of the program tobring in 10,000 Syrians,” North Carolina Rep. Walter Jonestold Viewpoints on The Talk Station. “And I think that myleadership is complicit in that. I don’t like saying that. Ireally do not like to say that.”
The bill, which passed the House 289-137, requires the FBIdirector, the Department of Homeland Security secretary and thenational intelligence director to confirm that each Syrian andIraqi refugee applicant posed no threat. Jones and Iowa’sRep. Steve King were the only two Republicans to vote against themeasure, while 47 Democrats backed it.
“We needed to do this to show the American peoplewe’re doing something,” Jones said. “Good gosh.If we wantÂ to show them we’re doing something,let’s pass a moratorium bill on the floor of theHouse.”
“But this was a feel-good bill and that’s why I amnot going toÂ intentionally cheat the people of thethird district by voting for something that doesn’t have anysubstance to it,” he continued.
Obama vowed to veto the bill, calling it “untenable.” Senate Minority Leader HarryReid from Nevada said he would block the measure.