WASHINGTON, D.C.—Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) issued the following statement after the House passed legislation to address the urgent national security risks posed by the Obama Administration’s Syrian refugee program: 

“This is a clear cut matter. Terrorists like ISIS have plainly stated their intention to exploit the Syrian refugee crisis to enter our country and attack our citizens. Meanwhile, the Secretary of Homeland Security and Director of the FBI have warned that they cannot assure us that terrorists are not infiltrating the refugee program in order to do Americans harm here at home. Given the obvious risks this situation poses to our national security, it is a matter of common sense that we pause the program while continuing to provide humanitarian aid to displaced people in host countries within the Middle East.

“It’s also critical to remember that this crisis is a symptom of the Obama Administration’s broader failure to combat the threat of Islamic extremism in the Middle East. Under President Obama’s watch, ISIS has run rampant, bringing death, brutality and destruction to millions of people in the region. The National Defense Authorization Act, which has now passed both houses of Congress with veto-proof majorities, demands that the President provide a strategy to defeat ISIS, something he has so far refused to consider. It’s time President Obama took the terrorist threat more seriously and worked with us to accomplish this vital national security objective. 

“This bill is an important first step in addressing urgent risks to our safety, and now that the House has passed it with a strong, bipartisan vote, I hope the Senate will follow suit and that the President will come to his senses and sign it into law.”