Harry Reid scuttles refugee security
Amidst the recent turmoil of thousands of Syrian refugees causing havoc in Europe and the specter of thousands entering the U.S., it’s hard to imagine anyone being against more scrutiny of refugees from Syria, but apparently there’s nothing Harry Reid won’t do to prop up his flailing president. On Wednesday, Senate Democrats, led by Minority Leader Reid, blocked a bill that would crack down on Syrian and Iraqi refugees coming to the U.S. as the Democrats turned the debate into an anti-Donald Trump referendum instead of focusing on the security of American citizens.
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Harry Reid could care less about your safety; if there are political points to be scored, the hell with you and your family.
With the required 60 votes to move the bill ahead, the Democrats stood in lock-step to prevent further action. Perhaps this is the Democrats way of saying you should buy a gun, cause hell if they’re going to lift a finger to protect you.
The vote came in response to a bill in the House that requires new FBI background checks and individual sign-offs from three high-ranking federal officials before any refugee from Syria or Iraq could come to the United States. The American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act cleared the House in November but has been languishing in the Senate, as most bills do, until Majority Leader McConnell brought it up this week for a vote. Note that the bill passed in the house received 289 votes, a veto-proof margin that included 47 Democrats, despite President Barack Obama’s opposition. Harry Reid, the bastion of bipartisanship, wasn’t about to let agreement in the House get in the way of his dirty politics.
“This bill is just another step in the absolute wrong direction, the direction of Donald Trump,” Reid told reporters before the vote. “The Democrats are committed to opposing the hateful views of Trump and his Republican enablers.”
It is difficult, in not impossible, under the current circumstances to effectively vet immigrants from war-torn countries like Syria and Iraq, where record keeping is meager, if at all. There is intelligence that reports that the Islamic State (ISIL) has stated that they intend to exploit the refugee screening program; still nothing sways the elite Mr. Reid.
“So it is any wonder that the citizens we represent are concerned?” McConnell said. “No wonder dozens of Democrats joined with Republicans to pass this balanced bill with a veto-proof majority over in the House.”
Three of the Republican presidential candidates — Ted Cruz of Texas, Marco Rubio of Florida and Rand Paul of Kentucky — left the campaign to return to Washington to vote to move the bill ahead.
Surprisingly, ultra-hawk Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who was campaigning for Jeb Bush in New Hampshire, missed the vote. Perhaps the most dedicated Republican on foreign affairs chose to stump for the failing Bush campaign over his responsibilities to his constituents. The message sent by Graham’s absence surely didn’t help move the bill forward. Shame on you Lindsey Graham.
Two Democrats from GOP-leaning states — Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia — voted with Republicans to move ahead on the legislation. Only two. Harry Reid is nothing if not a solid hamster herder; he was able to get more than 90 percent of his flock to potentially commit political suicide in an election year. Harry Reid is a true pied piper.
Those Democrats facing tight 2016 elections are now in a position of having to defend the indefensible: opposing what many consider to be a reasonable anti-terror measure in the wake of several terrorist attacks. Does the mainstream media still wonder why the Democrats have been bleeding congressional seats and governorships for the last four election cycles?
This House bill, Reid said, “scapegoats refugees who are fleeing war and torture instead of creating real solutions to keep Americans safe.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said the bill is a security test, not a religious one. “This reflects our values,” Ryan said. “This reflects our responsibilities.”
Cruz announced Tuesday he was canceling two events in New Hampshire and rescheduling two others in order to return to Washington to vote. While Republicans said the bill contains no religious tests for the refugees, Cruz and White House rival Jeb Bush have suggested giving preferences to Christians.
Obama scolded politicians for raising worries over taking in refugees fleeing the Islamic State’s harsh rule in Syria and Iraq, where it controls territory. “Apparently, they’re scared of widows and orphans coming into the United States of America,” Obama said when the House voted last year. The White House has said Obama will veto the legislation if it reaches his desk, so Reid’s move was simply to give his master cover.
Nice move Harry. When you depart after this term, we’re going to miss you almost as much as your boss.