WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) today released the following statement after Democrats blocked proceeding to the American SAFE Act (H.R. 4038).
“The American SAFE Act, a bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in the House, was blocked by Democrats in the Senate today for purely political reasons. Our number one priority should be to keep Americans safe and this bill would have added an extra layer of security to our refugee program – a program that terrorists are looking to exploit. Unfortunately, Senate Democrats’ number one priority is to protect President Obama and block any legislation that might embarrass or hurt him. The security of our nation should not be a partisan issue, and I will continue to put pressure on the Administration to ensure that any refugees admitted are certified as safe and that we are only taking in the most vulnerable- women, children and persecuted religious minorities.”
H.R. 4038, American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act (American SAFE Act) passed the House in November by a vote of 289-137. The American SAFE Act requires that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conduct background investigations on each refugee from Iraq or Syria before they are admitted into the United States. This investigation would be in addition to the screening that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) conducts. The FBI must certify to DHS and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) that a refugee has received a background investigation and that the refugee does not pose a threat to national security. The refugee will only be admitted if the FBI, DHS, and the DNI all concur that the refugee is not a threat to the United States.