On Wednesday afternoon, the White House promised to veto proposed legislation to revamp the policy on vetting and bringing into the country tens of thousands of Syrian refugees.
The statement was perfectly clear on the President's intention:
"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."
You can see the full veto threat below. The bill will likely see a vote in the House on Thursday. Here is how co-sponsor Rep. Mike McCaul (R-TX) describes it:
The bill requires the nation’s top security officials—the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of the FBI, and the Director of National Intelligence—to certify before admitting any Syrian or Iraqi refugee into the United States that the individual does not represent a security threat. I sent a letter to President Obama on Monday calling for a temporary suspension of Syrian refugee admissions until a full review of the resettlement program, including vetting security risks, could be completed. It is apparent that the President will ignore these concerns, making this legislation necessary to toughen security measures in order to keep terrorists from infiltrating America disguised as refugees. We cannot afford to play Russian roulette with our national security.
The requirement that the three top officials listed above sign off on each Syrian or Iraqi refugee is the key component of the bill, and the point of contention. Republican lawmakers feel that it is a necessary step.
House Republican leaders, worried about Islamic State attacks after Friday's killings of 129 people in France, on Tuesday threatened to suspend the administration's plans to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees in the coming year.
McCaul said legislation was necessary because the president was unlikely to halt the program.
Individual certification for these refugees, who already undergo a screening process that can take between 18 and 24 months and involves multiple U.S. security agencies, is likely to slow that process down even further.
Here is an image of the full veto threat, via Jordan Fabian on Twitter: