President Barack Obama on Wednesday vowed to veto a GOP-drafted bill that would suspend the program allowing Syrian and Iraqi refugees into the U.S. until key national security agencies certify they don’t pose a security risk.
“The certification requirement at the core of H.R. 4038 is untenable and would provide no meaningful additional security for the American people, instead serving only to create significant delays and obstacles in the fulfillment of a vital program that satisfies both humanitarian and national security objectives,” the White House said in a statement.
The statement continued: “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, if the President were presented with H.R. 4038, he would veto the bill.”
The refugee issue has emerged as a key political issue in the wake of last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris. More than half — 31 — of the nation’s governors, mainly Republicans, oppose letting Syrian refugees into their states and most GOP presidential candidates have called for a pause in allowing them into the country.
A Bloomberg Politics poll released Wednesday found that 53 percent of American adults don’t want Syrian refugees resettled in the U.S., while 28 percent say the Obama administration should proceed with its plan to accept 10,000 refugees next year without religious screening, and 11 percent say only Christians from Syria should be allowed in.