Daines Blasts Senate Dems’ Refusal to Allow Debate on Syrian Refugee Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senator Steve Daines today expressed his disappointment in Senate Democrats’ refusal to allow debate on legislation that would increase security and screening measures for refugees seeking to enter the United States.

“It is Congress’s responsibility to ensure the safety and security of our nation, but today Senate Democrats proved they would rather play politics than prioritize our national security,” Daines stated. “The SAFE Act is commonsense legislation that institutes a much-needed intensive screening process for incoming Syrian refugees. We are at war with radical Islamic extremism and it is irresponsible to accept anything less than a 100 percent verification of these refugees’ backgrounds before they enter the United States. Rest assured, I will continue working to secure our borders and prioritize Montanans’ safety and security.”

This afternoon, the Senate failed to advance the commonsense SAFE Act that bolsters the refugee screening process. The House of Representatives passed the SAFE Act with a bipartisan veto proof majority on November 19, 2015. 

Daines has voiced his deep concerns about the potential security holes in current background check protocol for Syrian refugees. Daines recently wrote a letter to Montana Governor Steve Bullock, urging Bullock to block relocation of Syrian refugees into Montana until there is 100 percent confidence in the refugees’ backgrounds.

In October, FBI Director James Comey testified before a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing that they “do see a risk” in the current vetting process for Syrian refugees entering the United States. During House Homeland Security Committee hearings the FBI also admitted that they could not properly vet these individuals.