US Senate to consider Republican-backed refugee bill

US Senate will consider rigorous screening procedures for Syrian and Iraqi refugees seeking to enter country, after House passes bill with overwhelming majority

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

In this Jan. 14, 2016 file photo, Syrian refugees inside the border wait to be approved to get into Jordan, in the Hadalat reception area, near the northeastern Jordanian border with Syria, and Iraq, near the town of Ruwaished, Jordan.

The Senate will consider new rigorous screening procedures for Syrian and Iraqi refugees seeking to enter the United States as national security looms large for voters in an election year.

Propelled by the DAESH attacks in Paris, the Republican backed legislation raced through the House last November with 289 votes. That veto-proof margin included 47 Democrats despite the Obama administration's opposition to the measure.

The legislation will have a much harder time making it through the Senate in the week ahead.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), needs at least six Democrats to join all 54 Republicans to approve a motion clearing the bill for final passage in the 100-member chamber.

The Senate's top Democrat, Harry Reid of Nevada, said last year that was not going to happen. Even if it did, President Barack Obama has pledged to veto the bill if it got to him.

The upshot may be more of the same on Capitol Hill: A war of words, with Republicans blasting Obama for failing to do what they see as necessary to secure the United States and Democrats accusing the GOP of fearmongering to score points with voters.

TRTWorld, AP