PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Congressman Ryan Costello, and Republican from Pennsylvania’s Sixth District, discussed his party’s attempts to block Syrian refugees from entering the United States following last week’s terror attack in Paris.
Costello, talking with Dom Giordano on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, said their first objective is to finalize a bill that can get all the way to the President.READ MORE: Southwest Philadelphia Block Renamed After Rev. Paul 'Earthquake' Moore
“We had a conference this morning. The Speaker of the House said, as follows and I think this is very important, this isn’t a political issue. I think that this plays very poorly for many politically, but what matters is our national security. So, we’ve put together a task force, the goal here is to get Democrats supporting this too so we can get it over the Senate because if we can’t get something through the Senate, we can’t put it on the President’s desk. I think you’re going to see something by the end of this week out of the House, over to the Senate in order to address something that we would’ve liked to see the President address, but I listen to what the President had to say yesterday and I, literally, couldn’t believe that he was as calm and self-assured as he was.”
He stated information on the refugees is so scarce that it is not worth the risk of allowing them to come to America.
“Here’s what our intelligence officials say. The vetting process, ‘isn’t what we’d like it to be.’ That’s the National Counter-Terrorism Center Director. Here’s what the FBI Director has said, ‘If someone has not made a ripple in the pond in Syria in a way that would get their identity or their interests reflected in our database, we could look at our databases until the cows come home, but nothing will show up because we have no record of the person.’ And finally, here’s the Homeland Security Director of the Obama Administration, ‘It is true that we are not going to know a whole lot about the Syrians that come forth in this process.’ That’s what the Administration is saying about the program.”READ MORE: Commuters Make Backup Plans Ahead Of SEPTA Strike Vote
Costello attempted to refute criticism that Republicans were cold and uncaring regarding the hardships faced by Syrians attempting the escape their war-torn country.
“We are giving hundreds of millions of dollars to states in the Syrian region who are accepting refugees. So we are, very much, on the pro-humanitarian side of this. Already my office is getting a lot of push back from some of these humanitarian organizations saying, don’t shut down the program, and we have to push back a little bit here and say, we’re leading with our heart too, but we have to protect our homeland.”
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