PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 4038, AMERICAN SECURITY AGAINST FOREIGN ENEMIES ACT OF 2015
(House of Representatives - November 19, 2015)

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[Pages H8367-H8378]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]





  PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 4038, AMERICAN SECURITY AGAINST 
                      FOREIGN ENEMIES ACT OF 2015

  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, by direction of the Committee on 
Rules, I call up House Resolution 531 and ask for its immediate 
consideration.
  The Clerk read the resolution, as follows:

                              H. Res. 531

       Resolved, That upon adoption of this resolution it shall be 
     in order to consider in the House the bill (H.R. 4038) to 
     require that supplemental certifications and background 
     investigations be completed prior to the admission of certain 
     aliens as refugees, and for other purposes. All points of 
     order against consideration of the bill are waived. The bill 
     shall be considered as read. All points of order against 
     provisions in the bill are waived. The previous question 
     shall be considered as ordered on the bill and on any 
     amendment thereto to final passage without intervening motion 
     except: (1) one hour of debate equally divided and controlled 
     by the chair and ranking minority member of the Committee on 
     the Judiciary; and (2) one motion to recommit.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Georgia is recognized for 
1 hour.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of debate only, 
I yield the customary 30 minutes to the gentleman from Massachusetts 
(Mr. McGovern), pending which I yield myself such time as I may 
consume. During consideration of this resolution, all time yielded is 
for the purpose of debate only.


                             General Leave

  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all 
Members have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and 
include extraneous material on House Resolution 531 currently under 
consideration.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Georgia?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I usually begin my statements 
talking about the technicalities of the rule, who is managing the 
general debate time, and a recap of the testimony and amendments we 
received in the Committee on Rules hearing. These are important items 
to discuss before this body. But today is different. The debates that 
we will have on this rule and the underlying legislation will be and 
should be different.
  I will be honest. This bill has nothing to do today with job 
creation. It has nothing to do with reducing regulatory burden or 
empowering educators to focus on the needs of students rather than the 
wish list of unions. Those are important issues that we will address in 
coming weeks. But today is different.

                              {time}  0945

  Today, we face the growing evil in the world and resolve to fight 
against it, no matter the price. The power of ISIS to kill and destroy 
has stunned the world and called us to question who we are as 
individuals, as people of faith, and as a Nation.
  It doesn't matter how many press conferences this administration 
holds, they will not distract from their abdication of responsibility 
to the security of the United States and the security of its citizens.
  The pro-rape, pro-torture, pro-mutilation strategy of Islamic State 
does not shrink in the face of meaningless words by our Commander in 
Chief. We are here today because this administration has failed. In the 
face of unspeakable violence and terror, the White House blinked. And 
our world is paying the price.
  My colleagues across the aisle no doubt plan to deliver moral 
lectures, as this administration is so fond of, dismissing those who 
suggest that the Islamic State will use any means possible to bring 
America to her knees. Before they do, let me remind them the price this 
country has paid for freedom.
  Soil around the world is soaked with the blood of our sons and our 
daughters who gave it all so that we may be free--as Lincoln said, 
``that last full measure of devotion''--and so those who seek refuge 
can find safety and security in our country.
  Despite what the administration wants you to believe, refugees don't 
seek safe haven because of our welfare benefits. It is because we don't 
negotiate with terrorists. It is because we recognize our first and 
greatest responsibility is the life and liberty of those who call 
America home.
  We are a Nation of immigrants. We are a Nation of laws. And we are a 
Nation with a fundamental responsibility to preserve the rights of our 
citizens. And those rights include life.
  The United States has one of the most generous legal immigration 
programs in the world, welcoming the hurting and abandoned, the 
persecuted and destitute. And we will continue to. But we will not 
welcome terrorists. We will not sacrifice moral courage on the altar of 
quotas.
  This country and the world will be judged by future generations on 
our response as a Nation and as individuals to the Islamic State and 
those they have raped, tortured, driven from their homes, and murdered. 
And I believe we will also be judged on our commitment to the safety of 
the millions of men, women, and children already living within our 
borders.
  The underlying legislation, H.R. 4038, isn't about who we welcome 
into our country. It is about keeping out those who pose a threat to 
our national security.
  Last night, the Rules Committee received testimony from the Judiciary 
and Homeland Security Committee chairmen and minority representatives, 
as well as receiving amendment testimony from a number of Members on 
both sides of the aisle, for over 4 hours.
  Now, more than ever, those who seek shelter in the United States 
deserve the assurance that our government is doing everything within 
its power to protect them from the very evil they fled.
  But where is the administration? Perhaps if the Commander in Chief 
would stop holding press conferences to lecture Republicans and start 
leading the world in the fight against terrorists, we wouldn't have 
thousands upon thousands tortured, displaced, and killed.
  The White House said ISIS was contained less than 24 hours before 100 
people became the latest victims of terrorism on the streets of Paris. 
And, oh, by the way, before releasing five from Guantanamo that 
morning. It seems the President was too busy practicing his Turkish for 
the G-20 Summit remarks to notice the world is crumbling and the 
Islamic State is growing stronger.
  In fact, when the President spoke at the G-20 Summit press 
conference, here is what he mentioned before addressing the terrorist 
attacks in Paris: the beauty of Turkey; the hospitality of the Turkish 
people; his practice of the Turkish language; the need to grow the 
global economy; the need to create jobs; rising inequality in the 
world; cyber theft; and oh, yes, global climate talks.
  There is no question that we have a political commentator when what 
our Nation and the world needs is a Commander in Chief.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume, 
and I thank the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Collins) for yielding me 
the customary 30 minutes.
  (Mr. McGOVERN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. McGOVERN. First, Mr. Speaker, I don't blame the gentleman of 
Georgia for not wanting to talk about the rule because, today, we are 
about to debate the 46th closed rule of this Congress, making this the 
most closed session of Congress in history. Speaker Ryan promised an 
open and deliberative process when he took the gavel. He has already 
reneged on that promise.
  Representatives Bennie Thompson and Zoe Lofgren offered an 
alternative to today's bill that deserves debate on the House floor, 
but the Republicans on this Rules Committee prohibited debate under 
this completely closed process.
  The bill that we are about to debate wasn't even introduced until 
10:14 p.m. Tuesday night. There have been no hearings--none at all--no 
markups, and no opportunities for bipartisan input. And, quite frankly, 
there was not a lot of opportunity for rank-and-file Republicans to 
have any input on this. Even more stunning, the Judiciary Committee is 
holding a hearing today--right now--on the very subject we are going to 
vote on in an hour.

[[Page H8368]]

  Mr. Speaker, we all understand why people are anxious and concerned. 
We all watched with horror as the brutal attacks in Paris played out on 
our TV screens. And our thoughts and our prayers continue to be with 
the people of Paris, whose courage inspires all of us.
  Keeping Americans safe is our top priority. And in the wake of the 
Paris attacks, that mission has never been more important. But in the 
days since those terrible attacks, there has been a deeply troubling 
debate about whether the United States should accept Syrian refugees. 
In the past week, we have heard far too many of our leaders stirring up 
fear and far too few talking about the facts.
  Mr. Speaker, Americans want an honest and serious debate about how we 
keep our country safe, but this bill, the so-called American Security 
Against Foreign Enemies Act, or the American SAFE Act, falls far short.
  Instead of debating a bill that might actually strengthen and enhance 
our refugee resettlement screening process, we are debating a bill that 
appeals to the worst in us and hurts the very people who are fleeing 
the violence and chaos ISIS has wrought.
  The authors of this bill boast that ``this legislation would put in 
place the most robust national security vetting process in history for 
any refugee population.'' But the simple truth is that the United 
States already has in place the most rigorous screening process for 
refugee resettlement in the world.
  Right now, Mr. Speaker, America's refugee screening process already 
involves seven different Federal departments and agencies, including 
the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security, the National 
Counterterrorism Center, the FBI's Terrorist Screening Center, the 
Department of Defense, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 
and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

  Beyond that, every refugee from Syria is also subjected to an 
additional layer of security and scrutiny. This process is so detailed 
that it takes, on average, about 2 years for each refugee to be fully 
screened and allowed to enter the United States, under the sponsorship 
of a local service agency, and be settled here. Two years.
  Now, I would think that every Member of this House would feel 
reassured knowing that such a process is already in place to protect 
our citizens and our communities. We have already resettled over 1,800 
Syrian refugees over the past 4 years in 130 communities across 
America. In the past year, Massachusetts has resettled 62 Syrian 
refugees, including 24 in my hometown of Worcester. Of the 2,174 Syrian 
refugees that we have resettled in the United States since 9/11, not a 
single one has been arrested or deported on terrorism-related grounds. 
Not one.
  I recognize that there are ways that we can strengthen that process 
further. The Congress could consult and work with the administration, 
including Homeland Security, the State Department, the national 
intelligence agencies, and the FBI, to identify and discuss areas where 
enhancements can be made. But that is not what the authors of this bill 
did. And it is clear that it wasn't their intention either.
  What H.R. 4038 would actually ``achieve'' is the creation of a so-
called process that would shut down all refugee resettlement from Syria 
and Iraq. It is not meant to make things better. It is meant to make it 
completely unworkable.
  Nothing in this bill actually improves the FBI's or any other 
intelligence agency's ability to conduct a more effective screening 
process. If you want to do that, give them more money for more 
personnel and consult with them directly about how to strengthen the 
existing screening process. This bill hasn't done that.
  Right now, of the more than 1,800 Syrian refugees resettled in the 
United States since 2012, half are children, a quarter are adults over 
the age of 60, and none have been involved in anything remotely tied to 
terrorism or violent activity.
  Mr. Speaker, America is at a critical crossroads. It is moments like 
this that define who we are as a Nation. This bill, along with the 
deeply troubling rhetoric that surrounds it, would only perpetuate the 
politics of fear and intolerance. Americans are better than that. And 
now, more than ever, we must stay true to our values.
  Our enemies want to divide us. We must remain strong and united in 
the face of this evil. We must not abandon the clear-eyed compassion 
that has made America the shining city on the hill for more than two 
centuries, giving hope to so many generations before us in search of a 
better life for themselves and for their children.
  In July, I traveled to Gaziantep, Turkey, near the Syrian border, 
with a congressional delegation led by Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia. 
While there, we heard directly from government leaders, local NGOs, and 
charities on the front lines helping the countless Syrian refugees who 
have lost their homes and many of their friends and family. They are 
desperate to escape the violence and are part of the world's worst 
refugee crisis since World War II. We cannot shrink from this moment 
when strong American leadership is needed.
  One of the most important reminders of the legacy we must live up to 
is the Statue of Liberty. For more than 100 years, it has stood as a 
promise for better life for the ``huddled masses yearning to breathe 
free.'' We cannot turn our backs on the values at the heart of our 
identity as Americans. To do this would cede a victory to the 
terrorists. Yet the fear, anger, prejudice, and isolationism that are 
driving the current debate on Syrian refugees remind me of some of the 
darkest and ugliest chapters of modern American history.
  Many Americans--some in this Chamber--still remember the moment in 
our Nation's history when we turned away ships filled with Jewish 
refugees desperate to escape Nazi Germany and imprisoned our fellow 
citizens of Japanese heritage in internment camps. Do we really want to 
return to these kinds of destructive and hateful policies? Is that 
really who we are today?
  I am so proud of America's leadership in providing $4.5 billion in 
aid to Syrian refugees in the region--more than any other country. I am 
also proud that the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement places a 
priority on accepting widows with children and highly vulnerable 
individuals, especially the elderly and the infirm.
  Mr. Speaker, H.R. 4038 would shut down our resettlement program 
altogether. That is what it wants to do, and that is what it intends to 
do.
  The refugees eligible for resettlement in the United States are not 
the refugees in Europe. The refugees coming into the United States 
through our resettlement program have been living in refugee camps for 
months--often years--under unimaginably harsh conditions.
  A woman and her 3-year-old little girl whose home in Syria was 
reduced to rubble by barrel bombs and whose husband has been killed 
will be denied the opportunity to go through the rigorous screening 
process to find a new home in America.
  An elderly woman who has lost everything and is barely alive now in a 
refugee camp will be denied a home in America, even if she has some 
distant relatives already in the United States.
  Mr. Speaker, where is our humanity? None of the Syrian refugees who 
have already made it through our screening process and have been 
resettled in the United States fit the description of the terrorists I 
have heard described over and over again last night in the Rules 
Committee. Those ugly distortions of the people we are resettling only 
emphasize how out of touch with reality this debate has gotten.
  Mr. Speaker, if we really want to help make America more safe and 
more secure in the wake of the Paris attacks, then we should put more 
money in the omnibus appropriations bill for the FBI, DHS, and for our 
local law enforcement agencies so that they can continue focusing on 
criminal and homegrown as well as possible foreign individuals and 
networks that might engage in violence against our citizens.
  And, while we are at it, we should also increase the funding for the 
State Department, HHS, the UNHCR, and the NGOs that provide 
humanitarian aid abroad and resettlement support to refugee families 
here in America. But let us stop wasting our time with a bill that is 
going nowhere and fails to offer the serious approach we need to keep 
America safe and address this crisis.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

[[Page H8369]]

  

  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  I was sort of amazed--it took almost probably 7 or 8 minutes--but we 
came to the real heart of the problem: just throw money at it. If you 
don't fix a problem, just throw money at it. When you are showing no 
leadership, I guess I would throw a diversionary tactic out there and 
do that as well.
  What I am having trouble understanding is also what has been said by 
many speakers this morning, Mr. Speaker, and that is that true refugees 
are not the problem. They can still apply. Nothing in this bill keeps 
that rigorous process from them applying and going through that 
process. We are simply adding a certification step.
  Now, undoubtedly, that is a little cumbersome for our Secretary of 
the Department of Homeland Security because he has this problem: he 
says it is cumbersome for him to certify each Syrian refugee 
personally.
  There are issues here. Is it just hugely cumbersome and not the most 
effective use of the Secretary's time? I am sorry; you are the 
Secretary of Homeland Security in this country. Your job is to keep us 
protected. However that may play out, get the resources and do what you 
are supposed to be doing.
  It is not like the example of keeping a young mother with kids from 
going through the process. There is nothing in this bill that does 
that. That is a distraction.

                              {time}  1000

  I will talk about the rule. The rule is straightforward. Vote for the 
rule in just a few minutes. Vote with the side of those protecting 
America. Make sure that we are protected. That is a simple choice this 
morning.
  That is what this rule does. It gets us to a bill that allows us to 
put an extra level of security and an extra level of certification so 
this administration cannot just continue to do what they are doing.
  I was stunned just a few moments ago when I heard from my friend that 
this appeals to the worst in the U.S.
  This appeals to the worst in the U.S.? Protecting America and trying 
to find ways to do that appeals to the worst of us?
  That, to me, is derogatory to every man and woman who serves in our 
military, who goes and fights for freedom not only here but abroad. You 
are telling me to add a level of protection to those who live within 
our borders is appealing to the base of who we are?
  That is not true. Deflect how you want to. Talk about this bill. Vote 
``no'' if you want to. Go on the side of saying, you know, we have got 
it pretty good right now. Those that have come haven't done anything.
  I would rather see a proactive approach. I would rather see something 
that is very reflective of the world's times. When we do that, then we 
are fulfilling our role. That is the best of America, not the worst.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman 
from Pennsylvania (Mr. Cartwright).
  Mr. CARTWRIGHT. Mr. Speaker, I rise to oppose this rule. This bill, 
H.R. 4038, was rushed to the floor with no hearings, no opportunities 
for amendments, none of the things that Speaker Ryan promised us about 
an open process, a bottom-up process.
  Now, I agree that preventing dangerous actors from entering the 
United States is paramount, and I also agree that we must be strong in 
our resolve to confront and defeat terrorism wherever it comes from. 
But I submitted an amendment to this bill which would have excluded 
women and children from the extra and potentially onerous process this 
bill would enact for refugee vetting.
  Refugees from this region already undergo a far more rigorous 
screening process than anybody else seeking admission to this country. 
The process takes, on average, between 18 and 24 months--and longer, in 
many cases--before a refugee sets foot on U.S. soil. Surely this 
process is sufficient for women and children, widows and orphans of 
terrorism who are particularly vulnerable during conflicts while 
fleeing, who come from refugee camps.
  It means that this bill is particularly punitive for them if it means 
they have additional wait time. Imposing that kind of additional wait 
time while going through unnecessary bureaucratic steps to vet those 
low-risk individuals makes no sense.
  Speaker Ryan, I oppose this rule because you are not living up to 
your promise. We ought to have debate. We ought to have hearings, and 
you ought to allow amendments like this one that would make an 
exception for widows and orphans.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  I would just say, if the gentleman agrees that we need to enforce and 
have strong protections to make sure that we are not attacked, then my 
recommendation would be vote ``yes'' on the rule and vote ``yes'' on 
the bill. It is a pretty simple choice here. Or you can go back and 
explain to most of the people in your district who agree that we need 
to protect our country--it is something across our country, from coast 
to coast, that says this is something that is worth doing, and I think 
we need to look at that.
  I do want to hit this hard in just a moment. There are times--and 
especially when you come to a decision like this--when we understand 
how we got here and that it was put together by six chairmen who, over 
the weekend and this past week after the tragic result of last Friday 
night in Paris, have put together this first step in legislation to 
deal with this, and there will be other steps coming. But to 
characterize this as something that basically has not been considered--
there are committees, the Judiciary Committee on which I serve, the 
Homeland Security Committee, and others, who have been looking at this 
issue for a long time.
  This is something that has come together, and it gives us an 
immediate first step, and it makes a very clear choice.
  Do you want to add a layer of protection to protect the American 
people or not? If you don't want to, vote ``no.'' If you don't want to 
do that, vote ``no.'' Vote ``no'' on the rule. Vote ``no'' on the bill. 
Talk about the process. Whine about whatever you want. But this is a 
clear choice. The bill is protection or not.
  The other issue that we need to really just assess here is, when we 
look at what we are doing, the question is about leadership, and the 
question is about how are we going to protect those. It doesn't shut it 
down.
  Also, it was just mentioned just a little bit ago that there was a 
hearing right now. The implication was that the hearing had something 
to do with this bill. Let's just be very clear. The hearing is about 
the Syrian refugee issue as a whole, not this bill. We are not taking 
away from that. This is an issue and a hearing that had been planned. 
It is happening. Those are other discussions that will be coming 
forward.
  So let's at least make sure that we are giving the right implications 
on what is going on on the Hill right now.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Georgia for 
clarifying that point, which now means that there are zero hearings on 
this bill and no markup. It doesn't make me feel very good about this 
process.
  I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Pascrell).
  Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Speaker, I have lived in Paterson, New Jersey, all 
my life, which has a large Syrian American population. In fact, when I 
came back from the service, I joined the American Legion. It was the 
John Raad Post, which was a Syrian American military organization. 
These are hardworking people here.
  The advantage of what we are doing, and over the past 4 years since 
the beginning of the Syrian war, the civil war, is that we are 
connecting refugees with Syrian American families.
  There are no harder working people in this country than Syrian 
Americans. Know the history of it. They didn't come here last week.
  So here is the chart. This is what you need to go through to get a 
refugee into the United States of America. I hope you looked at the 
chart. I hope you have examined every step, the 14 steps. Let's not get 
into one side wants to secure America more than the other side.
  I served in the Armed Forces. I was on the beginning of the Select 
Committee on Homeland Security. I don't

[[Page H8370]]

like anybody telling me: You guys tried to do that in 2005, and you 
lost in 2006. Stay away from it.
  No one party is privy to protecting this country. We all want that. 
But we are not going to sacrifice what we, as Americans, are. We are 
not going to do this.
  When women and children who have nothing on their back--nothing--and 
2 or 3 years, they could finally come to the gate of the greatest 
country in the world--yeah, you may smile over there, but I am very 
serious about what I am saying. This is a very serious moment in our 
history.

  I want to protect America. I want to be strong. I don't agree with 
all the President's Syrian policies, but I think that we are doing harm 
to ourselves and sending the wrong message.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Jenkins of West Virginia). The time of 
the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. McGOVERN. I yield the gentleman an additional 1 minute.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman is reminded to address his 
remarks to the Chair.
  Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Speaker, I want to salute the Speaker of the House, 
and here is why I want to salute him. He defused the religious 
connotations when this was first brought up. He did that yesterday, and 
I salute him.
  Imagine, to have one line for Christian Syrians and another line for 
Muslim Syrians. What are we reduced to here? What message does that 
send to the rest of the world? You tell me. It is shameful.
  So I thank him for that.
  I don't impugn anybody on the other side. I don't question their 
motives. I don't think that this is a good idea.
  The commitment we have to public safety can be upheld even as we 
provide refuge to some of the world's most vulnerable people. When you 
sleep tonight, think about the world's most vulnerable people, and we 
can still keep America safe.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  I appreciate the gentleman's words. I agree with him. No party claims 
a right of both as one protects, one doesn't. But I will say this: Both 
of us have the same commitment to raising our hand and saying we do 
protect. Both parties have that in common.
  And as someone who has served, myself, and been in a war zone in Iraq 
and understands what this is about, I appreciate the gentleman's 
feelings. My problem is this: Go to your district. As was said just a 
few moments ago, they felt better about no hearings. My question is, go 
to your district and ask your district this question, Mr. Speaker: 
Would you rather have a hearing, or would you rather do something to 
protect them?
  Would you rather have hearings or go and do something to protect, and 
then come back, as we have done hearings, and work moving forward?
  This is a process that should be together. I am really, frankly, 
amazed that we are not together on this because, at this point, it does 
nothing--I repeat, does nothing--to shut the process down. It simply 
adds a layer of protection.
  It doesn't shut it down. It doesn't defame our humanitarian effort 
around world in which we lead the way in both money and resources, and 
it still allows that mother with those kids to apply and go through the 
process.
  We are simply saying, let's pause a moment and make sure that it is 
not just the mother with the kids, that there is not somebody else 
abusing the system, there is not somebody else hiding through the 
system that wants to come into this country and do us harm.
  Let's frame this in very simple terms. It is a very simple bill. It 
is only four pages. When we understand that, we can continue.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I am stunned to just listen to the gentleman from Georgia basically 
tell us that you can have either a bill or you can have regular order, 
but you can't have both.
  This is the greatest deliberative body on the planet. We are supposed 
to discuss issues. We are supposed to debate issues. Committees are 
supposed to do their work and report that, then, to the Rules Committee 
to come to the floor. But to suggest that you have a choice here, you 
can't have both, is ridiculous.
  The Speaker of the House promised regular order. He has reneged on 
that promise. It is outrageous, especially on a bill like this, that we 
cannot have amendments; that even the committees of jurisdiction can't 
even do their job. It is an outrage. It is shameful. How can you defend 
that kind of process?
  I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee).
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, I associate myself with the gentleman 
from Massachusetts because I think it is important for my colleagues to 
understand that, when you talk about process, you talk about responding 
in the right way to crisis.
  Let me be very clear. The inquiry that my friends on the other side 
of the aisle are making is correct, to find out how we can ensure the 
safety and security of the American people.
  I sit on the Homeland Security Committee and, like my friend from New 
Jersey, from the very beginning, the tragedy of 9/11.
  I am the ranking member on the Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, 
and Investigations Subcommittee. There is no way that I would stand 
here and jeopardize the security of the American people.
  Let me also say, I represent the Catholic diocese, Catholic 
Charities, Lutheran Services, Interfaith Ministries in my district, and 
I would ask my colleague on the other side of the aisle to query them 
about whether or not they support this legislation.
  There are people who understand the burdensomeness and the wrongness 
of the direction in which we are going.
  Is it appropriate to inquire and have a report to Congress to ensure 
that there are strictures in dealing with those coming to this country 
from Syria or anywhere else? Yes, it is. But is it ridiculous to ensure 
or to insist that this 5-year-old little girl must be individually 
certified by the FBI, the DNI, Counterterrorism, and the CIA, and a 
long litany of others? That is what we are saying.
  First of all, there were 23,000 who were recommended by the United 
Nations, Syrians, to come into the United States. The Department of 
Homeland Security selected only 7,000 to interview. In that 7,000, only 
2,000 have gone through the process through an 18- to 20-month period.
  We are saying to the American people, if you want to get rid of ISIS, 
take the fight to ISIS. That is what we are doing with our allies, to 
destroy and eliminate ISIS. But to be able to say to our allies around 
the world that we are putting a stop sign on our refugees from Syria 
that look like mothers and fathers and old people is absolutely absurd.
  The inquiry is correct; the process is wrong. Let us not distort this 
to the American people and tell them an untruth, that one side of the 
aisle is against the security and the other side is not.
  Take the fight to the caliphate.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.
  Mr. McGOVERN. I yield the gentlewoman 15 seconds.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. This is an improper approach. You cannot certify a 
5-year-old girl from Syria. She will never get in.
  The process is extensive, it is definite, it is secure, and we are 
securing the American people. Let's work together, as my friend on the 
other side of the aisle has said, and do it right.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  Also, I just want to say that it shouldn't have been shocking. There 
was nothing in part of what I said, that you have to have regular order 
or a bill. I am simply saying, here is the process it went through that 
we have had here.
  That is a false dichotomy, Mr. Speaker. It is not true. I never said 
you couldn't have regular order and have a bill. You have both. In this 
case, you have a bill.

                              {time}  1015

  The bill says in very plain and simple terms--4 pages--here is what 
it does, and that is where we go at it. To continue to say that it does 
other stuff that it doesn't do is simply wrong. We are just simply 
saying: We are giving another layer of protection. Take that layer of 
protection. Let's continue to have our hearings, let's continue to

[[Page H8371]]

have our debate, and we will be bringing others because we are already 
taking the fight--and that is another issue that we need to have. It is 
time to call the radical Islamic terrorists what they are, thugs in 
this world, rapists, torturers, and murderers. They have no regard for 
religion and no regard for themselves. They are simply plain thugs.
  If we want to talk about what we are fighting, then let's put it in 
those terms. Let's put it in those terms. I prefer that we have an 
extra measure of protection keeping those folks out while we take the 
fight to them because I believe, as the Air Force that I serve and the 
military we have, the fight is coming to them, and the thugs will not 
win. We are just going to put an extra measure of protection here to 
make sure they don't come in here while maintaining the integrity of 
our program.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, those of us on our side have no problem with taking the 
fight to the thugs. What we have a problem with is taking the fight to 
orphans, widows, young children, and senior citizens who are fleeing 
war and terror. To turn our backs on those individuals, to basically 
shut this process down--and that is what this would do. By the way, the 
authors of the bill admitted that last night in the Rules Committee. 
This is not going to stop the refugee resettlement process in its 
place. But to do that goes against the very best traditions and values 
of this country.
  We are better than that.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from California 
(Ms. Lee).
  Ms. LEE. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the gentleman from 
Massachusetts for yielding and for his leadership on these critical 
issues.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to the rule, H. Res. 531, 
and also to the bill, H.R. 4038, the American Security Against Foreign 
Enemies Act of 2015. Foreign enemies--refugees.
  We all watched with horror as unconscionable violence unfolded in 
Paris over the weekend, but also in Egypt, in Lebanon, and in Nigeria. 
So let me just first say that my thoughts and prayers go out to all of 
those who have been affected by all of these tragedies.
  But it would be a grave mistake to use these attacks as a pretense to 
close our doors to the families that are fleeing ISIL in their own 
countries. The overwhelming majority, of course, are women and 
children. Just as the unfortunate attacks of 911 required us to step up 
and lead, we are at that moment again where Members of Congress need to 
lead.
  This counterproductive bill would immediately shut down the 
resettlement of refugees from countries such as Syria and Iraq while 
significantly slowing down--yes, shutting down--our resettlement 
process in the future.
  But, of course, as Members of Congress, our first goal is keeping our 
country safe. We all are committed to that, and we do that each and 
every day. But preventing these people suffering the violence of war--
the violence of war--sends the wrong signal first to our allies; to our 
own country. And really, this is not consistent with our national 
security goals. Simply put, closing our doors to these refugees would 
really be a betrayal of our Nation's most fundamental values.
  Mr. Speaker, the United States already has the lengthiest and most 
robust screening procedures in the world. Any refugees seeking to come 
to the United States go through a screening process that takes 18 to 24 
months before they can even set foot on United States soil.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I yield the gentlewoman from California an 
additional 1 minute.
  Ms. LEE. Mr. Speaker, our screening process has already involved 
multiple Federal intelligence, security, and law enforcement agencies, 
including the Department of Homeland Security, the National 
Counterterrorism Center, and the FBI. These agencies subject those 
seeking refuge in the United States to safeguards, such as biometric 
and biographic checks. Syrian refugees are already subject to 
additional forms of security screening.
  Mr. Speaker, it is worth noting--it has been said before, and I will 
say it again--that of the 2,174 Syrian refugees admitted to the United 
States since September 11, 2001, not a single one has been arrested or 
deported on terrorism-related grounds. I am proud that Oakland--in my 
congressional district--has resettled more Syrian refugees than any 
other East Bay area city in California. Rather than working to shut out 
those seeking refugee in our country, we should instead be working 
toward ensuring a regionally led, comprehensive, economic, political, 
and diplomatic solution to the conflicts that have led to the worst 
refugee crisis since World War II.
  Mr. Speaker, this would stop the flow of refugees and give them a 
chance to live in their own country free of war and violence. I urge my 
colleagues to reject this rule and this unnecessary bill.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I find it a great privilege to 
stand here and really not believe that a bill that protects the 
interests of Americans I find never is unnecessary. In fact, I find it 
needed at this point.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Mississippi (Mr. 
Palazzo).
  Mr. PALAZZO. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Georgia 
for engaging in this debate. I know it sometimes seems to be a lonely 
job, especially when you are right, you are correct, and you are 
putting the best interests of the American people ahead of partisan 
politics. So I applaud you, and I applaud all my colleagues who are 
going to support this underlying rule and move on to support the final 
bill.
  I heard a comment while I was following the debate, and someone said 
that Speaker Ryan has reneged on his promises.
  Mr. Speaker, if anybody has reneged on their promises, I believe it 
is the President of the United States of America. As Commander in 
Chief, he has the ultimate responsibility to lead our troops. But also 
his number one constitutional responsibility is the common defense of 
this Nation against all enemies, both domestic and foreign. But he has 
made America weaker. He has made our military weaker. The international 
community, our friends, no longer trust us, and our enemies no longer 
fear us. So if anybody has reneged on their responsibilities, it is the 
President of the United States.
  Just now, Mr. Speaker, we started to basically really try to cut off 
the flow of money to ISIS and to the Islamic radicals. For over 2 
years, we have been telling them to go after the oil revenues. That is 
where they are making their money. They are making it because they are 
smuggling oil out of the country and selling it on the black market, 
and they are making billions of dollars a year. Just now, we decide, 
well, we are going to go after the oil tankers that carry the oil so 
they can make the money, so they can buy weapons, and then they can 
basically export terrorism all around the world.

  Twenty-five years ago, I remember pretty much this month I was 
activated for the Persian Gulf War. One thing I do remember is we 
bombed the hell out of our enemies before we sent our men and women in 
uniform with boots on the ground in there. And pretty much, as we all 
know, within a week, the Iraq war was over with.
  So, Mr. Speaker, it baffles the mind why we are waiting for the last 
moment to actually cut off the revenues that are funding this global 
jihad and this radical Islam. But, like my colleague from Georgia and 
those who are going to support this rule and support the bill, we 
understand our constitutional responsibilities.
  Our number one responsibility is the common defense of this Nation at 
home and abroad. That means taking care of people in our congressional 
districts, taking care of people in our State, and taking care of the 
American people. So you are either with us or against us on this.
  I just want to urge my colleagues to support the underlying rule, 
support the bill, and let's start taking care of Americans, and the 
rest will take care of itself.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the remaining time.
  Mr. Speaker, I want to urge my colleagues to defeat the previous 
question.

[[Page H8372]]

If we do, I will offer an amendment to the rule that would simply allow 
us to debate and vote on a reasonable alternative in addition to the 
Republican bill that we are considering today. This record-breaking 
closed rule shuts down both Republicans and Democrats, makes it 
impossible for them to be able to participate in the legislative 
process, and prevents us from considering reasonable, commonsense 
alternatives. If we are truly interested in actually enhancing the 
security of the United States and protecting the American people, maybe 
we ought to come together and behave like adults and work together to 
come up with a solution that actually works.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to insert the text of the 
amendment in the Record, along with extraneous material, immediately 
prior to the vote on the previous question.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Massachusetts?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I include in the Record a letter that was 
signed by 81 NGOs that work in the field of humanitarian relief and 
refugee resettlement in support of the refugee resettlement program and 
the Syrian refugee resettlement program.

                                                November 17, 2015.
       Dear Senator/Representative: As refugee and immigration law 
     experts, humanitarian aid organizations, faith, labor and 
     civil and human rights groups, we write to express our 
     support for the U.S. refugee resettlement program. The world 
     is witnessing the largest refugee crisis since World War II. 
     More than 4 million Syrians have fled from their home country 
     fleeing conflict and violence, and 6.5 million are displaced 
     internally.
       At a time when the world needs humanitarian leadership, 
     some are now calling for the suspension of the U.S. refugee 
     resettlement program or the imposition of restrictions on 
     funding for Syrians and other groups of refugees. We oppose 
     these proposals and believe they would jeopardize the United 
     States' moral leadership in the world.
       Syrian refugees are fleeing exactly the kind of terror that 
     unfolded on the streets of Paris. They have suffered violence 
     just like this for almost five years. Most have lost loved 
     ones to persecution and violence, in addition to having had 
     their country, their community, and everything they own 
     brutally taken from them.
       Refugees are the most thoroughly vetted group of people who 
     come to the United States. Security screenings are rigorous 
     and involve the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, the 
     Department of Defense and multiple intelligence agencies. 
     Department of Homeland Security officials interview each 
     refugee to determine whether they meet the refugee definition 
     and whether they are admissible to the United States. 
     Refugees undergo a series of biometric and investigatory 
     background checks, including collection and analysis of 
     personal data, fingerprints, photographs, and other 
     background information, all of which is checked against 
     government databases. The entire process typically takes more 
     than two years and often much more before the refugee would 
     arrive in the U.S. In addition the Administration is already 
     taking steps, with its existing authority, to increase the 
     capacity of its security and screening procedures for 
     refugees. There is no need for Congress to impose additional 
     restrictions or security measures.
       The United States decides which refugees to resettle. 
     Because so few refugees in the world are resettled, the U.S. 
     often chooses the most vulnerable, including refugees who 
     cannot remain safely where they are and families with 
     children who cannot receive the medical care they need to 
     survive.
       To turn our back on refugees would be to betray our 
     nation's core values. It would send a demoralizing and 
     dangerous message to the world that the United States makes 
     judgments about people based on the country they come from 
     and their religion. This feeds into extremist propaganda and 
     makes us all less safe. We call upon Congress to demonstrate 
     leadership by speaking out against the scapegoating of any 
     group during this time of crisis and to ensure that our 
     nation's humanitarian efforts are robust.
       The United States is a welcoming country with a diverse 
     society and our resettlement program must continue to reflect 
     this.
       We can welcome refugees while ensuring our own security. 
     Refugees have enriched communities across our country and 
     have been part of the American fabric for generations. 
     Historically our nation has responded to every major war or 
     conflict and has resettled refugees from Africa, South East 
     Asia, Eastern Europe as well as the Middle-East. Closing the 
     door to refugees would be disastrous for not only the 
     refugees themselves, but their family members in the United 
     States who are waiting for them to arrive, and our reputation 
     in the world.
           Sincerely,
       The Advocates for Human Rights, Alliance for Citizenship, 
     American Civil Liberties Union, American Immigration Lawyers 
     Association, American Jewish Committee (AJC), American 
     Refugee Committee, America's Voice Education Fund, Anti-
     Defamation League, Asian American Legal Defense and Education 
     Fund (AALDEF), Asian Americans Advancing Justice--AAJC, Asian 
     Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence, Association of 
     Jewish Family and Children's Agencies.
       CARE USA, Center for Applied Linguistics, Center for Gender 
     & Refugee Studies, Center for New Community, Center for 
     Victims of Torture, Centro de los Derechos de Inmigrante, 
     Inc., Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Refugee & 
     Immigration Ministries, Church World Service, Columban Center 
     for Advocacy and Outreach, Concern Worldwide (US) Inc., 
     Conference of Major Superiors of Men, Council on American-
     Islamic Relations.
       The Episcopal Church, Ethiopian Community Development 
     Council, Inc., Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 
     Farmworker Justice, Franciscan Action Network, Friends 
     Committee on National Legislation, Habonim Dror North 
     America, HIAS, Human Rights First, InterAction, International 
     Catholic Migration Commission, International Refugee 
     Assistance Project, International Rescue Committee.
       Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, National 
     Advocacy Office, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, Jewish Council 
     for Public Affairs, Jewish Labor Committee, Kids in Need of 
     Defense (KIND), Leadership Conference of Women Religious, 
     Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, Mercy-USA for Aid 
     and Development, Mi Familia Vota, Muslim Public Affairs 
     Council, NAFSA: Association of International Educators, 
     National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA).
       National Council of Jewish Women, National Immigrant 
     Justice Center (NIJC), National Immigration Forum, National 
     Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, NETWORK, A 
     National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, OCA--Asian Pacific 
     American Advocates, OneAmerica, ORAM--Organization for 
     Refuge, Asylum & Migration, Oxfam America, Peace Action West, 
     Presbyterian Church USA, Refugees International.
       Save the Children, South Asian Americans Leading Together 
     (SAALT), Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC), 
     STAND: The Student-Led Movement to End Mass Atrocities, 
     SustainUS: U.S. Youth for Justice, Syrian American Medical 
     Society (SAMS), Syria Relief Development, Tahirih Justice 
     Center, T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights.
       Union for Reform Judaism, Unitarian Universalist 
     Association, United to End Genocide, United Farm Workers, 
     United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, United 
     States Conference of Catholic Bishops, UURISE--Unitarian 
     Universalist Refugee and Immigrant Services and Education, 
     Inc., Win Without War, Women's Refugee Commission, Workmen's 
     Circle, World Relief.

  Mr. McGOVERN. I also include in the Record a statement by the 
Catholic Bishops that say that the U.S. should welcome Syrian refugees 
into the United States.

 [From the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Nov. 17, 2015]

Bishops' Migration Chair: U.S. Should Welcome Syrian Refugees, Work for 
                                 Peace

       Baltimore.--Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, Chairman of the United 
     States Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on 
     Migration, issued a statement on Syrian refugees during the 
     Bishops' annual General Assembly in Baltimore Nov. 17.
       Full text of the statement follows:


         Statement on Syrian Refugees and the Attacks in Paris

       On behalf of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' 
     Committee on Migration, I offer my deepest condolences to the 
     families of the victims of the November 13 attacks in Paris, 
     France and to the French people. I add my voice to all those 
     condemning these attacks and my support to all who are 
     working to ensure such attacks do not occur again--both in 
     France and around the world.
       I am disturbed, however, by calls from both federal and 
     state officials for an end to the resettlement of Syrian 
     refugees in the United States. These refugees are fleeing 
     terror themselves--violence like we have witnessed in Paris. 
     They are extremely vulnerable families, women, and children 
     who are fleeing for their lives. We cannot and should not 
     blame them for the actions of a terrorist organization.
       Moreover, refugees to this country must pass security 
     checks and multiple interviews before entering the United 
     States--more than any arrival to the United States. It can 
     take up to two years for a refugee to pass through the whole 
     vetting process. We can look at strengthening the already 
     stringent screening program, but we should continue to 
     welcome those in desperate need.
       Instead of using this tragedy to scapegoat all refugees, I 
     call upon our public officials to work together to end the 
     Syrian conflict peacefully so the close to 4 million Syrian 
     refugees can return to their country and rebuild their homes. 
     Until that goal is achieved, we must work with the world 
     community to provide safe haven to vulnerable and deserving 
     refugees who are simply attempting to survive. As a great 
     nation, the United States must show leadership during this 
     crisis and bring nations together to protect those in danger 
     and bring an end to the conflicts in the Middle East.


[[Page H8373]]


  

  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I include en bloc in the Record a whole 
bunch of other materials.

    [From Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Nov. 17, 2015]

    Reform Movement Rejects Calls for New Limits on Syrian Refugees

       Washington, D.C.--In response to calls for new limits on 
     Syrian refugees in the wake of the recent attacks in Paris, 
     Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the Religious Action 
     Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

       The recent attacks in Paris have horrified and pained us 
     deeply, as they have all people of goodwill around the world. 
     Our hearts ache for all those directly impacted by these acts 
     of terror. We pray for healing of those who were injured and 
     comfort for the families of all who were lost.
       These attacks echo the kind of terrible violence that the 
     Syrian people have lived with for the past several years, 
     buffeted between the brutality of President Assad and the 
     barbarism of ISIS. As such, now is the time to ensure the 
     U.S. refugee system remains open to those fleeing Syria and 
     who wish to contribute to and strengthen our nation. Calls to 
     impose new limits on Syrian refugees, to impose a religious 
     test on refugees, or to close our doors altogether ignore the 
     reality that the lengthy and rigorous vetting of refugee 
     applications helps ensure our national security while 
     upholding our historic role as a place of refuge.
       We cannot allow the violence wrought by ISIS and its allies 
     to overshadow our values as Americans and as Reform Jews. As 
     Jewish tradition teaches, ``and each shall sit under their 
     vine and fig tree, and none shall make them afraid'' (Micah 
     4:4). We can ensure our security and fulfill our highest 
     aspirations as a nation rooted in compassion and commitment 
     to religious liberty. We call on members of Congress to 
     oppose any effort to limit the acceptance of Syrian refugees, 
     just as we urge public officials and figures across the U.S. 
     to reject divisive and inflammatory statements that do not 
     reflect our history as a nation founded by descendants of 
     those who fled persecution in search of freedom.
       In these trying times, we cannot lose sight of our values 
     and what we stand for. To repair the brokenness in our world, 
     we must stand united with those who reject violence and 
     divisiveness and instead support those who uphold healing, 
     safety and security for all.
                                  ____


Ranking Members Schiff, Thompson and Lofgren Joint Statement on Syrian 
                  Refugee Bill on House Floor Tomorrow

         [For Immediate Release--Wednesday, November 18, 2015]

       Washington, DC.--Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Ranking 
     Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on 
     Intelligence, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member 
     of the Committee on Homeland Security, and Rep. Zoe Lofgren 
     (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee's 
     Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, released the 
     following statement:
       ``For many Americans, the horrendous loss of life and 
     scenes of chaos of the Paris terrorist attacks harkened back 
     to our own experience in the wake of September 11th. Our top 
     priority is and will always remain the safety of the American 
     people. And it is in these times that the core values of our 
     nation are tested. Welcoming refugees who are fleeing 
     persecution and war is the humane--and American--thing to do. 
     However, some in Congress intend to use this tragedy to shut 
     down the U.S. refugee program, turning our backs on victims 
     fleeing the horrors of ISIS and the Assad regime.
       ``We must constantly re-evaluate and refine our refugee 
     screening to find ways to strengthen the existing system and 
     ensure that we are maintaining the most rigorous vetting 
     system in the world. Refugees, and refugees from this region 
     specifically, already undergo a far more rigorous screening 
     process than anyone else seeking admission to this country, 
     including background checks, national security vetting, 
     biometric identifiers, and interviews. The process takes on 
     average between 18 to 24 months, and longer in many cases, 
     before a refugee steps foot on U.S. soil. The House 
     Republican legislation would immediately shut down all 
     refugee resettlement from Syria and Iraq--possibly for many 
     years--and severely handicap future refugee resettlement 
     around the world.
       ``Our commitment to refugees and the security of the 
     American people are not mutually exclusive. We believe that 
     turning our backs on those escaping persecution, many of them 
     religious minorities and victims of terrorism, runs counter 
     to the proud and generous heritage of the United States--a 
     country of immigrants--that has always helped those in need 
     in the most trying times.''
                                  ____


                   Statement of Administration Policy


                  H.R. 4038--American SAFE Act of 2015

               (Rep. McCaul, R-TX, and Rep. Hudson, R-NC)

       The Administration's highest priority is to ensure the 
     safety and security of the American people. That is why 
     refugees of all nationalities, including Syrians and Iraqis, 
     considered for admission to the United States undergo the 
     most rigorous and thorough security screening of anyone 
     admitted into the United States. This legislation would 
     introduce unnecessary and impractical requirements that would 
     unacceptably hamper our efforts to assist some of the most 
     vulnerable people in the world, many of whom are victims of 
     terrorism, and would undermine our partners in the Middle 
     East and Europe in addressing the Syrian refugee crisis. The 
     Administration therefore strongly opposes H.R. 4038.
       The current screening process involves multiple Federal 
     intelligence, security, and law enforcement agencies, 
     including the National Counterterrorism Center, the Federal 
     Bureau of Investigation, and the Departments of Homeland 
     Security (DHS), State, and Defense, all aimed at ensuring 
     that those admitted do not pose a threat to our country. 
     These safeguards include biometric (fingerprint) and 
     biographic checks, medical screenings, and a lengthy 
     interview by specially trained DHS officers who scrutinize 
     the applicant's explanation of individual circumstances to 
     assess whether the applicant meets statutory requirements to 
     qualify as a refugee and that he or she does not present 
     security concerns to the United States. Mindful of the 
     particular conditions of the Syria crisis, Syrian refugees--
     who have had their lives uprooted by conflict and continue to 
     live amid conditions so harsh that many set out on dangerous, 
     often deadly, journeys seeking new places of refuge--go 
     through additional forms of security screening, including a 
     thorough pre-interview analysis of each individual's refugee 
     application. Additionally, DHS interviewers receive 
     extensive, Syria-specific training before meeting with 
     refugee applicants. Of the 2,174 Syrian refugees admitted to 
     the United States since September 11, 2001, not a single one 
     has been arrested or deported on terrorism-related grounds.
       The certification requirement at the core of H.R. 4038 is 
     untenable and would provide no meaningful additional security 
     for the American people, instead serving only to create 
     significant delays and obstacles in the fulfillment of a 
     vital program that satisfies both humanitarian and national 
     security objectives. No refugee is approved for travel to the 
     United States under the current system until the full array 
     of required security vetting measures have been completed. 
     Thus, the substantive result sought through this draft 
     legislation is already embedded into the program. The 
     Administration recognizes the importance of a strong, 
     evolving security screening in our refugee admissions program 
     and devotes considerable resources to continually improving 
     the Nation's robust security screening protocols. The 
     measures called for in this bill would divert resources from 
     these efforts.
       Given the lives at stake and the critical importance to our 
     partners in the Middle East and Europe of American leadership 
     in addressing the Syrian refugee crisis, if the President 
     were presented with H.R. 4038, he would veto the bill.
                                  ____


           [From U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants]

    Security Screening of Refugees Admitted to the United States: A 
                       Detailed, Rigorous Process

       Resettlement is considered a durable solution for refugees 
     who cannot return to their countries of origin or integrate 
     into the current country that is hosting them. Resettlement 
     to a country like the U.S. presents a life-saving alternative 
     for a very small number of refugees around the world (less 
     than one half of one percent). Refugees seeking resettlement 
     in the United States must pass through a number of steps 
     aimed at ensuring that they will not pose a security risk to 
     the United States.


                                 STEP 1

       Refugee Status: In most cases the UN High Commissioner for 
     Refugees (UNHCR) determines that the individual qualifies as 
     a refugee under international law. A refugee is someone who 
     has fled from his or her home country and cannot return 
     because he or she has a well-founded fear of persecution 
     based on religion, race, nationality, political opinion or 
     membership in a particular social group.


                                 STEP 2

       Referral to the United States: A refugee that meets one of 
     the criteria for resettlement in the United States is 
     referred to the U.S. government by UNHCR, a U.S. Embassy, or 
     a trained Non-Governmental Organization.


                                 STEP 3

       Resettlement Support Center: A Resettlement Support Center 
     (RSC), contracted by the U.S. Department of State, compiles 
     the refugee's personal data and background information for 
     the security clearance process and to present to the U.S. 
     Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for an in-person 
     interview.


                                 STEP 4

       Security Clearance Process: With information collected by 
     the RSC, a number of security checks are conducted. The State 
     Department runs the names of all refugees referred to the 
     United States for resettlement through a standard CLASS 
     (Consular Lookout and Support System) name check. In 
     addition, enhanced interagency security checks were phased in 
     beginning in 2008 and applied to all refugee applicants by 
     2010.


                                 STEP 5

       Security Clearance Process: Certain refugees undergo an 
     additional security review called a Security Advisory Opinion 
     (SAO).

[[Page H8374]]

     These cases require a positive SAO clearance from a number of 
     U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies in order to 
     continue the resettlement process. When required, this step 
     runs concurrently with Step 4.


                                 STEP 6

       Security Clearance Process: Refugees who meet the minimum 
     age requirement have their fingerprints and photograph taken 
     by a trained U.S. government employee, usually on the same 
     day as their DHS interview. The fingerprints are then checked 
     against various U.S. government databases and information on 
     any matches is reviewed by DHS.


                                 STEP 7

       In-person Interview: All refugee applicants are interviewed 
     by an officer from DHS's U.S. Citizenship and Immigration 
     Services (USCIS). A trained officer will travel to the 
     country of asylum* to conduct a detailed, face-to-face 
     interview with each refugee applicant being considered for 
     resettlement. Based on the information in the refugee's case 
     file and on the interview, the DHS officer will determine if 
     the individual qualifies as a refugee and is admissible under 
     U.S. law.


                                 STEP 8

       DHS Approval: If the USCIS officer finds that the 
     individual qualifies as a refugee and meets other U.S. 
     admission criteria, the officer will conditionally approve 
     the refugee's application for resettlement and submit it to 
     the U.S. Department of State for final processing. 
     Conditional approvals become final once the results of all 
     security checks (Steps 4, 5, and 6) have been received and 
     cleared.


                                 STEP 9

       Medical Screening: All refugee applicants approved for 
     resettlement in the U.S. are required to undergo medical 
     screening conducted by the International Organization for 
     Migration or a physician designated by the U.S. Embassy.


                                STEP 10

       Matching Refugees with a Sponsor Agency: Every refugee is 
     assigned to a Voluntary Agency in the U.S., such as the U.S. 
     Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI). USCRI will 
     place refugees with a local partner agency or office that 
     will assist refugees upon their arrival in the U.S.


                                STEP 11

       Cultural Orientation: In addition, refugees approved for 
     resettlement are offered cultural orientation while waiting 
     for final processing, to prepare them for their journey to 
     and initial resettlement in the United States.


                                STEP 12

       Security Clearance Process: Prior to departure to the U.S., 
     a second interagency check is conducted for most refugees to 
     check for any new information. Refugees must clear this check 
     in order to depart to the U.S.


                                STEP 13

       Admission to the United States: Upon arrival at one of five 
     U.S. airports designated as ports of entry for refugee 
     admissions, a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer 
     will review the refugee documentation and conduct additional 
     security checks to ensure that the arriving refugee is the 
     same person who was screened and approved for admission to 
     the United States.
       *Note that under limited circumstances, refugee applicants 
     may be interviewed in their home country rather than in a 
     country of asylum.
                                  ____


                  [From Human Rights First, Nov. 2015]

          Refugee Resettlement--Security Screening Information

       Refugees to the United States are more stringently screened 
     and vetted than any other group allowed to enter the country.
       The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees first registers 
     refugees, interviews them, takes biometric data and 
     background information. These refugees overwhelmingly women 
     and children have been Ewing in Jordan, Turkey or other 
     frontline refugee-hosting countries for years, struggling to 
     survive. UNHCR has data from its regular interactions with 
     these refugees over the years. Resettlement helps support the 
     stability of nations that are key U.S. allies, as they are 
     straining under the pressure of hosting so many refugees. 
     Only those who pass the U.N. assessment are referred to the 
     United States for resettlement. At least 18,000 have already 
     been through the U.S. process and are awaiting U.S. 
     government consideration and review.
       The U.S. government then conducts its own extremely 
     rigorous screening process, including health checks, repeated 
     biometric checks, several layers of biographical and 
     background screening, and in-person interviews by specially-
     trained officers. Multiple agencies are involved, including 
     the FBI's Terrorist Screening Center, the State Department, 
     the Department of Homeland Security, the National 
     Counterterrorism Center, the Department of Defense and U.S. 
     intelligence agencies. DNS has added an additional country-
     specific layer of review for Syrian refugee applications, 
     which includes extra screening for national security risks.
       Secretary Jeh Johnson outlined this process in 
     Congressional testimony in October 2015: ``With regard to the 
     current refugee crisis, the U.S. is committed to providing 
     refuge to some of the world's most vulnerable people, while 
     carefully screening refugees for security concerns before 
     admitting them to the United States. The reality is that, 
     with improvements to the process we have made over time, 
     refugees are subject to the highest level of security checks. 
     DHS works in concert with the Department of State, the 
     Department of Defense, the National Counterterrorism Center, 
     and the FBI's Terrorist Screening Center for the screening 
     and vetting of refugees. The U.S. Government conducts both 
     biographic and biometric checks on refugee applications, 
     including security vetting that takes place at multiple 
     junctures in the application process, and even just before 
     arrival to account for changes in intelligence. All refugees 
     admitted to the United States, including those from Syria, 
     will be subject to this stringent security screening. Acting 
     on my direction, USCIS has developed additional protocols to 
     aid in the identification of security concerns with regard to 
     the Syrian population, and the entire Department, along with 
     the interagency, is committed to continual improvement of 
     overall security vetting, as new techniques or sources of 
     information are identified.''
       More specifically, the U.S. refugee vetting process for 
     Syrian refugees includes the following elements as outlined 
     by Department of Homeland Security officials.
       Department of Homeland Security Interviews: Refugees are 
     interviewed by DHS-USCIS officers to determine whether or not 
     they can be approved for resettlement to the United States. 
     These interviews are conducted while refugees are still 
     abroad.
       Consular Lookout and Watch List Check: Biographic checks 
     are conducted against the State Department's Consular Lookout 
     and Support System (CLASS)--which includes watch list 
     information.
       Security Advisory Opinions from Intelligence and Other 
     Agencies: DHS seeks Security Advisory Opinions (SAOs) from 
     law enforcement and intelligence communities for cases that 
     meet certain criteria.
       National Counterterrorism Center Checks with Intelligence 
     Agency Support: Interagency checks, known as ``IAC's,'' are 
     conducted with the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) 
     for all refugee applicants within a designated age range, 
     regardless of nationality. In addition, expanded intelligence 
     community support was added to the IAC process in July 2010, 
     and recurrent vetting was added in 2015 so that any 
     intervening derogatory information that is identified after 
     the initial check has cleared but before the applicant has 
     traveled to the United States will be provided to DHS.
       DHS and FBI BlometrIc Checks: Fingerprints are screened 
     against the vast biometric holdings of the Federal Bureau of 
     Investigation's Next Generation Identification system, and 
     are screened and enrolled in DHS's Automated Biometric 
     Identification System (IDENT). Through IDENT, the applicant's 
     fingerprints are screened not only against watch fist 
     information, but also for previous immigration encounters in 
     the United States and overseas--including cases in which the 
     applicant previously applied for a visa at a U.S. embassy.
       Department of Defense Biometric Screening: Biometric 
     screening is also conducted through the Department of Defense 
     (DOD) Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS). ABIS 
     contains a variety of records, including fingerprint records 
     captured in Iraq. ABIS screening has been expanded to refugee 
     applicants of all nationalities who fall within the 
     prescribed age ranges.
       Enhanced Review for Syrian Cases: In addition to the many 
     biometric and biographic checks conducted, DHS-USCIS has 
     instituted additional review of Syrian refugee applications. 
     Before being scheduled for interview by a DHS-USCIS officer 
     (while the refugee is still abroad), Syrian cases are 
     reviewed at DHS-USCIS headquarters. All cases that meet 
     certain criteria are referred to the DHS-USCIS Fraud 
     Detection and National Security Directorate (FDNS) for 
     additional review and research. FDNS conducts open-source and 
     classified research on referred cases and synthesizes an 
     assessment for use by the interviewing officer. This 
     information provides case-specific context relating to 
     country conditions and regional activity, and is used by the 
     interviewing officer to inform lines of inquiry related to 
     the applicant's eligibility and credibility. DHS-USCIS 
     reports that FDNS engages with law enforcement and 
     intelligence community members for assistance with identity 
     verification and acquisition of additional information.
       Additional Screening Checks on Entry: When they travel to 
     the United States, refugees are subject to screening 
     conducted by DHSU.S. Customs and Border Protection's National 
     Targeting Center-Passenger and the Transportation Security 
     Administration's Secure Flight program prior to their 
     admission to the United States, as is the case with all 
     individuals traveling to the United States regardless of 
     immigration program.


                          Additional Resources

       The Wall Street Journal in a video outlines the steps a 
     refugee must go through to reach the United States.
       The New Yorlc Times in an interactive map shows where 
     Syrian refugees currently reside.
       David Miliband: ``There are many ways to come to the United 
     States. Comparatively the refugee resettlement program is the 
     most difficult short of swimming the Atlantic.''
       Fran Townsend: ``There are no easy answers in Syria, but 
     it's time to stop acting as if the problems there are too 
     hard or too complicated. While we cannot right the wrong of 
     the current poky failure, it is still possible to act now to 
     both alleviate the consequent suffering and mitigate the 
     potential future.''

[[Page H8375]]

       Governor Nikki Haley: ``These are people who have protected 
     our troops, these are people who have been persecuted for 
     being Christian . . . these are people who we took in because 
     they were unsafe where they were.''
       Finally, states cannot unilaterally block resettlement. 
     Governors do not have the legal authority to determine who 
     lives in their states. When refugees are legally admitted to 
     the United States they have the right to move freely 
     throughout the country.

  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I do want to say one thing. It strikes me, 
as we are having this debate here, that I can't help but take note of 
their response in France toward the Syrian refugees. Yesterday, French 
President Francois Hollande promised to honor his commitment to take in 
tens of thousands of refugees, welcoming 30,000 refugees over the next 
2 years. That is 6,000 more than he committed to in September. He also 
announced $53.3 million to develop housing for refugees. We have all 
invoked the terrible tragedy that happened in France. Let's follow 
France's example and be a secure shelter for those most in need.
  As I listen to the debate here, one of the troubling things to me is 
that there doesn't ever seem to be a tragedy that my friends on the 
other side of the aisle don't want to exploit for political gain, and I 
think today is no exception. A horrendous terrorist attack happened in 
Paris, an attack that has shocked the entire world. This is being used 
as an excuse to pass what I consider an ugly bill because this would 
shut down a refugee resettlement for Syrians and Iraqis.
  This bill is aimed at fueling fear rather than protecting the 
American people. We have an exhaustive screening process for refugees 
already in place. It takes years for a refugee from Syria to be able to 
be admitted to the United States--years. Can we improve the system? 
Absolutely. But the opportunity to do that requires us to consult with 
one another and to put the results ahead of political gain. But that is 
not what happened. We had a bill before the Rules Committee that never 
went through committee, that never was marked up, the content of which 
was not shared with the Democrats, and a lot of Republicans were locked 
out of the process. Here we are with a political document more than 
something that is going to do anything to help these people fleeing 
violence or help enhance our security. Now, that might be a nice sound 
bite in your next campaign, but it is an awful thing to do to a group 
of people fleeing war and terror.
  Who are these people? They are, as the President stated, widows and 
orphans mostly. They are old people trying to be reunited with distant 
family members in the United States. They are people who are fleeing 
for their lives and who are fleeing the worst terror imaginable. That 
used to mean something in this Chamber. We used to care about these 
things in a bipartisan way. Apparently, no more.
  This Congress is losing its humanity. Here is the deal: we are 
behaving in a way that I think reinforces what the terrorists are 
trying to communicate to the rest of the world, which is that somehow 
we don't care about people from certain parts of the world or we don't 
care about people who happen to be Muslim. We have had a lot of people 
on the other side of the aisle who have talked about we ought to have a 
religious test here and very little condemnation in response to that 
from my friends on the other side of the aisle.
  Mr. Speaker, last night in the Rules Committee, my Republican friends 
said that all we are doing is responding to public opinion. Our job is 
to be more than just a political weathervane. We have an obligation to 
make sure that we state the facts--the real facts. We have an 
obligation to tell the truth. We have an obligation to help put issues 
in perspective. And, in short, we have an obligation to lead on issues 
like this and not be so jittery to pursue policies that we all know are 
wrong.
  So we are here with a bill that my friends say is so important that 
there could be no hearings and no markup on, a bill that is so 
important that there could be no consultation on, a bill that is so 
important that nobody can offer an amendment on, and we have a bill 
that is coming before us in an absolutely closed process.
  Let me just close by expressing my deep frustration with this place 
and how it is being run. For some time now, I have watched as my 
Republican friends have regularly turned their backs on the most 
vulnerable populations. There is no more vulnerable population--no more 
vulnerable group of people on this planet--than refugees fleeing god-
awful war and terror. Yet, today, they are being thrown under the bus 
for political gain. They are being demonized. They are being 
characterized as terrorists. Young children, 3-year-old girls, widowed 
mothers, and grandmothers are being demonized as terrorists.

                              {time}  1030

  And for what? The American people, I think, expect more from us. What 
we are doing here today is not about protecting the American people. It 
is not about helping people fleeing war and violence. This is 
political. That makes what is happening here today not only 
disappointing but, I would say, disgusting.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  I share many times the frustration my friend from Massachusetts has 
about this place. When I look at what is going on today, my 
frustration, frankly, on the floor here has probably grown, considering 
that we talk about everything else except what the bill actually does. 
We throw up every picture of everything.
  I am not sure at what point today--and I can go back through my 
remarks. I am not sure where I ever disparaged a refugee, ever said 
that the inhumanity and suffering that is going on because of a bunch 
of thugs called the Islamic State, that these folks do not need to have 
a place to go or humanitarian help, which America has led on from the 
beginning. It is easy to say that.
  As the gentleman is fond of saying, Mr. Speaker, it makes political 
points. Well, the same is true for him and true for our folks across 
the aisle. It makes political points for them. The problem is it is not 
in the bill. The problem is it is adding an extra layer.
  There has been discussion here today about the political whims. Look, 
I believe that what is happening right now is a test of two things: 
thermometers and thermostats.
  This administration is a pretty good thermometer. They will look out 
and tell you what they believe the temperature is, and they react to 
the world opinion.
  I believe today the Republican majority is acting as a thermostat and 
moving the temperature and moving the awareness. Because I do not 
believe that an event could be ignored if it is not being used. It is 
saying there is a warning sign. It is like a warning sign on your 
vehicle. You can ignore it, and when it breaks down, you wonder what 
happened; or you can say, here is a warning sign, here is what is going 
on in the world.
  All we are asking for is certification from our highest officials in 
security to say these folks have another level of check so that we can 
ensure our homeland is protected.
  One attack on American soil is too many. The Islamic State has been 
clear in their desire to bring America to her knees. The underlying 
legislation won't change that. But as the chairman of the Judiciary 
Committee stated last night, it will put this administration on notice 
that Congress will not be silent.
  We will take up the national security mantle that this White House 
has so carelessly disregarded. In the weeks ahead, you can expect this 
body to bring forward additional legislation reforming both our refugee 
and visa waiver programs.
  There is no loophole or vulnerability that ISIS won't seek to use to 
kill and destroy, and there is no loophole or vulnerability the House 
Republicans aren't committed and determined to fix, and I desperately 
ask my friends across the aisle to join us.
  Our Nation is a beacon of freedom and hope, and no force of evil will 
ever change that. No terrorist will ever cause Republicans in this body 
to shy away from our duty to our citizens or our duty to the world, and 
for that I believe both sides need to come together.
  The President stated ISIS is the JV. I believe the families and loved 
ones of the recent attacks on an airplane in Paris would not say that, 
in fact, would say otherwise.

[[Page H8376]]

  The administration's refusal to look the Islamic State in the eye and 
declare with a resounding voice that they will be defeated is 
devastating, but it isn't the end. Where this White House has failed, 
Congress will succeed. We will work tirelessly to restore the faith and 
trust of the American people. We will replace political posturing with 
policy priorities dealing with our national security, as opposed to 
those of a more liberal strategy that we have heard today.
  Look, I know my friends across the aisle share the same heart. We 
grieve the lives lost. We grieve for those who are caught up in war and 
caught up in the devastating attacks by a group of people who, 
frankly--ISIS--have no soul. They are blank. Because if you are 
agreeable to do the atrocities that they are doing, you just have no 
part in a civilized world. You have no part in being acknowledged 
except for the animals that you are.
  I recognize they are in an impossible position of choosing either the 
safety of their constituents or the political strategy of the 
President--I understand that--across the aisle.
  My hope is that today--today--will be different, that we don't take 
the easy ``no'' vote, that we will have the moral courage to make the 
decision that says ``no'' to terrorism and ``yes'' to the American 
people, a vote that will ensure that our country remains a safe haven 
for those the rest of the world has abandoned.
  Again, let me repeat this again, because it has been said. I guess if 
we say it enough, we believe it to be true.
  This does not stop the program. It simply says that, until we can 
certify, we are going to make sure that there is an extra level of 
protection for the people. It does not shut the program down.
  A vote in support of this rule and for H.R. 4038 is what we need. And 
after we bow our heads in thanks next week, filled with gratitude for 
those who have gone before, we will return with renewed commitment to 
further reforms.
  Evil will not win. ISIS will not win. With the steadfast spirit and 
courage of conviction of those who came before, those who gave their 
lives, we will not let the torch of freedom go out on our watch, and we 
will continue to fight for those in our country, for their safety, our 
sons and daughters, as we continue this fight.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak in opposition to 
the rule governing debate on this bill and the underlying bill H.R. 
4038, the ``American Security Against Enemies Act of 2015'' (America 
SAFE Act).
  This bill represents a rush to judgement.
  It has been rushed to the floor without the regular order 
deliberative process promised by the House Leadership.
  H.R. 4038 was introduced on Tuesday, November 17, 2015, in violation 
of House Rules, without consideration or review by the House oversight 
committees.
  Today, November 19, 2015 it is on the floor for debate and votes.
  This bill does not further the national security interest of our 
country--in fact it harms those interests.
  The United States does have an urgent need to deal with the 
humanitarian crisis that is unfolding in the wake of ISIS/ISIL 
aggression in Syria and Iraq.
  There are 60 million displaced persons because of the war.
  The Syrian/Iraqi conflict has claimed over 240,000 lives.
  Mr. Speaker, this bill is written as if no process exists for vetting 
Iraqi or Syrian refugees.
  In fact a very rigorous process is in place that has been honed over 
the past several years by intelligence and law enforcement agencies.
  They have established and perfected an intense form of screening for 
Syrians called the ``Syrian Enhanced Review.''
  The American SAFE Act requires a FBI background check for every 
refugee from Iraq and Syria who applies for asylum in the United 
States, when a much better process is in place that requires the 
intelligence agencies and the Department of Defense to vet applicants.
  This bill provides that no refugee from Iraq or Syria can be granted 
asylum in the United States unless the Director of the FBI, the 
Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, and the Director of 
National Intelligence each make an independent determination and concur 
unanimously that the applicant for asylum poses no threat to the 
national security of the United States.
  The FBI is a domestic law enforcement agency--they have an 
international presence, but their focus is domestic.
  The agencies with an international focus such as the State 
Department, DoD, and intelligence agencies under the leadership of DHS 
are the experts.
  The House process for the consideration and deliberation of 
legislation is intended to prevent bad bills from coming to the floor 
for a vote.
  This bill was drafted in haste--in application it would require a 5 
year old child who is Syrian to have to get the FBI, DHS, DoD, and DNI 
to agree that she poses no threat to the United States or its people.
  This bill is doing damage to our nation's foreign policy interest by 
sending a signal to our allies, who are doing much more than the United 
States is doing to relieve the suffering of Syrian refugees, while also 
facing the threat of terrorism every day.
  Mr. Speaker, let me commend Homeland Security Committee Chairman 
McCaul, the lead sponsor of the bill before us, with whom I have worked 
closely and reached agreement on many matters critical to the security 
of our homeland.
  Homeland Security Committee Chairman McCaul, Ranking Member Thompson 
and Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Immigration Ranking Member 
Lofgren are dedicated public servants whose actions are always 
motivated by their commitment to keep our nation safe and secure.
  This bill is purported by supporters as not stopping the refugee 
process for Iraq and Syria.
  The bill in its language does stop the process--some like to call it 
a pause, but is a dead stop in the processing of applications from 
Iraqi and Syrian refugees.
  They have not read the bill or they do not understand the 
consequences of the language that requires certification by the FBI, 
DHS, DoD, and DNI that a refugee poses no threat'' in the legislation 
if they believe that this bill would not end the refugee process for 
Iraqi and Syrian applicants.
  The bill calls for 100% certification by the FBI, DHS, DoD, and DNI 
that no refugee is a threat.
  No professional security or law enforcement professional will give 
anyone a 100% guarantee about anything.
  They will not provide a 100% guarantee because they believe that 
something or someone is a threat--they will not provide a guarantee 
because it is grossly unprofessional to do so and we should never ask 
them to do this.
  On its face H.R. 4038 would end any hope of asylum in the United 
States for any refugee from Iraq or Syria.
  The U.S. screening process in place is focused upon applications from 
women with children, orphans, the seriously ill and the elderly.
  Mr. Speaker, H.R. 4038 is not necessary at this time because our 
nation already has in place the world's most rigorous screening process 
for refugees seeking asylum.
  Mr. Speaker, there are other alternatives to the draconian approach 
of H.R. 4038, takes such as the bill introduced by Ranking Members 
Thompson and Lofgren.
  The President is another solution for those who seek reassurance that 
every precaution is being taken--he is in a position to certify to the 
Congress and the American people that the process is prudent and 
careful in its actions regarding refugees seeking entrance into the 
United States.
  It is helpful to recount briefly the critical elements of that 
screening process.
  Every applicant for asylum must:
  1. register with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees;
  2. provide background information, including what caused him or her 
to flee their home country (a ready means of comparing information 
provided by more than one million refugees to further verify the 
validity of the information provided);
  3. meet one of five legal qualifications: threat of violence based on 
race, religion or faith or national origin; political beliefs; or 
membership in a targeted social group.
  4. undergo a rigorous background check during which investigators 
fact-check the refugee's biography to ensure consistency with published 
or documented reports of events such as bombings or other violence;
  5. be subjected to biometric tests conducted by the Department of 
Defense, in conjunction with other federal agencies (the U.S. military 
has an extensive biometric data base on Iraqis from its time in Iraq); 
and
  6. sit for intensive in-person interviews, which may take months or 
years before they are conducted.
  If, during the screening process, a person from Syria gives responses 
that raise red flags he or she is selected for more intense examination 
by U.S. intelligence agencies.
  The process for those refugees from the conflict area who have 
entered the United States began with the High Commissioner for Refugees 
who referred 22,000 applicants to the United States for consideration.
  The United States through its process only allowed 7,000 for further 
consideration for admittance and in its final decision permitted

[[Page H8377]]

2,000 individuals to be cleared for entrance into the country.
  The demographic breakdown of those Syrians who have been approved for 
refugee status to come to the United States is as follows: children, 
50%; persons over the age of 60, 25%; combat age males, 2%.
  H.R. 4038 has come to the floor too fast for such a serious decision 
and without considering the arduous process that is in place to screen 
all refugees, not just those from Iraq and Syria.
  The last thing a terrorist would want is to be a refugee--living in 
the harsh environment of a refugee camp for two years.
  Refugees are the victims of terrorists--ISIS/ISIL does not love 
them--they want to murder every last one of them, because they will not 
bow to them.
  This rule for this bill troubles me because it has been constructed 
on tools that allow Congress to act during times of crisis or 
emergencies.
  Mr. Speaker a 2-year process does not pose any emergency by any 
definition that can be devised.
  I cannot support this bill, but I an committed to working with my 
colleagues on both sides of the aisle to find common ground.
  The material previously referred to by Mr. McGovern is as follows:

  An Amendment to H. Res. 531 Offered by Mr. McGovern of Massachusetts

       At the end of the resolution, add the following new 
     sections:
       Sec 2. Immediately upon adoption of this resolution the 
     Speaker shall, pursuant to clause 2(b) of rule XVIII, declare 
     the House resolved into the Committee of the Whole House on 
     the state of the Union for consideration of the bill (H.R. 
     4079) to require that supplemental certifications and 
     identity verifications be completed prior to the admission of 
     refugees. The first reading of the bill shall be dispensed 
     with. All points of order against consideration of the bill 
     are waived. General debate shall be confined to the bill and 
     shall not exceed one hour equally divided and controlled by 
     the chair and ranking minority member of the Committee on the 
     Judiciary. After general debate the bill shall be considered 
     for amendment under the five-minute rule. All points of order 
     against provisions in the bill are waived. At the conclusion 
     of consideration of the bill for amendment the Committee 
     shall rise and report the bill to the House with such 
     amendments as may have been adopted. The previous question 
     shall be considered as ordered on the bill and amendments 
     thereto to final passage without intervening motion except 
     one motion to recommit with or without instructions. If the 
     Committee of the Whole rises and reports that it has come to 
     no resolution on the bill, then on the next legislative day 
     the House shall, immediately after the third daily order of 
     business under clause 1 of rule XIV, resolve into the 
     Committee of the Whole for further consideration of the bill.
       Sec. 3. Clause 1(c) of rule XIX shall not apply to the 
     consideration of H.R. 4079.
                                  ____


        The Vote on the Previous Question: What It Really Means

       This vote, the vote on whether to order the previous 
     question on a special rule, is not merely a procedural vote. 
     A vote against ordering the previous question is a vote 
     against the Republican majority agenda and a vote to allow 
     the Democratic minority to offer an alternative plan. It is a 
     vote about what the House should be debating.
       Mr. Clarence Cannon's Precedents of the House of 
     Representatives (VI, 308-311), describes the vote on the 
     previous question on the rule as ``a motion to direct or 
     control the consideration of the subject before the House 
     being made by the Member in charge.'' To defeat the previous 
     question is to give the opposition a chance to decide the 
     subject before the House. Cannon cites the Speaker's ruling 
     of January 13, 1920, to the effect that ``the refusal of the 
     House to sustain the demand for the previous question passes 
     the control of the resolution to the opposition'' in order to 
     offer an amendment. On March 15, 1909, a member of the 
     majority party offered a rule resolution. The House defeated 
     the previous question and a member of the opposition rose to 
     a parliamentary inquiry, asking who was entitled to 
     recognition. Speaker Joseph G. Cannon (R-Illinois) said: 
     ``The previous question having been refused, the gentleman 
     from New York, Mr. Fitzgerald, who had asked the gentleman to 
     yield to him for an amendment, is entitled to the first 
     recognition.''
       The Republican majority may say ``the vote on the previous 
     question is simply a vote on whether to proceed to an 
     immediate vote on adopting the resolution . . . [and] has no 
     substantive legislative or policy implications whatsoever.'' 
     But that is not what they have always said. Listen to the 
     Republican Leadership Manual on the Legislative Process in 
     the United States House of Representatives, (6th edition, 
     page 135). Here's how the Republicans describe the previous 
     question vote in their own manual: ``Although it is generally 
     not possible to amend the rule because the majority Member 
     controlling the time will not yield for the purpose of 
     offering an amendment, the same result may be achieved by 
     voting down the previous question on the rule. . . . When the 
     motion for the previous question is defeated, control of the 
     time passes to the Member who led the opposition to ordering 
     the previous question. That Member, because he then controls 
     the time, may offer an amendment to the rule, or yield for 
     the purpose of amendment.''
       In Deschler's Procedure in the U.S. House of 
     Representatives, the subchapter titled ``Amending Special 
     Rules'' states: ``a refusal to order the previous question on 
     such a rule [a special rule reported from the Committee on 
     Rules] opens the resolution to amendment and further 
     debate.'' (Chapter 21, section 21.2) Section 21.3 continues: 
     ``Upon rejection of the motion for the previous question on a 
     resolution reported from the Committee on Rules, control 
     shifts to the Member leading the opposition to the previous 
     question, who may offer a proper amendment or motion and who 
     controls the time for debate thereon.''
       Clearly, the vote on the previous question on a rule does 
     have substantive policy implications. It is one of the only 
     available tools for those who oppose the Republican 
     majority's agenda and allows those with alternative views the 
     opportunity to offer an alternative plan.

  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my 
time, and I move the previous question on the resolution.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on ordering the previous 
question.
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the ayes appeared to have it.
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 9 of rule XX, the Chair 
will reduce to 5 minutes the minimum time for any electronic vote on 
the question of adoption of the resolution.
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--yeas 243, 
nays 182, not voting 8, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 638]

                               YEAS--243

     Abraham
     Aderholt
     Allen
     Amash
     Amodei
     Babin
     Barletta
     Barr
     Barton
     Benishek
     Bilirakis
     Bishop (MI)
     Bishop (UT)
     Black
     Blackburn
     Blum
     Bost
     Boustany
     Brady (TX)
     Brat
     Bridenstine
     Brooks (AL)
     Brooks (IN)
     Buchanan
     Buck
     Bucshon
     Burgess
     Byrne
     Calvert
     Carter (GA)
     Carter (TX)
     Chabot
     Chaffetz
     Clawson (FL)
     Coffman
     Cole
     Collins (GA)
     Collins (NY)
     Comstock
     Conaway
     Cook
     Costello (PA)
     Cramer
     Crawford
     Crenshaw
     Culberson
     Curbelo (FL)
     Davis, Rodney
     Denham
     Dent
     DeSantis
     DesJarlais
     Diaz-Balart
     Dold
     Donovan
     Duffy
     Duncan (SC)
     Duncan (TN)
     Ellmers (NC)
     Emmer (MN)
     Farenthold
     Fincher
     Fitzpatrick
     Fleischmann
     Fleming
     Flores
     Forbes
     Fortenberry
     Foxx
     Franks (AZ)
     Frelinghuysen
     Garrett
     Gibbs
     Gibson
     Gohmert
     Goodlatte
     Gosar
     Granger
     Graves (GA)
     Graves (LA)
     Graves (MO)
     Griffith
     Grothman
     Guinta
     Guthrie
     Hanna
     Hardy
     Harper
     Harris
     Hartzler
     Heck (NV)
     Hensarling
     Herrera Beutler
     Hice, Jody B.
     Hill
     Holding
     Hudson
     Huelskamp
     Huizenga (MI)
     Hultgren
     Hunter
     Hurd (TX)
     Hurt (VA)
     Issa
     Jenkins (KS)
     Jenkins (WV)
     Johnson (OH)
     Johnson, Sam
     Jolly
     Jones
     Jordan
     Joyce
     Katko
     Kelly (MS)
     Kelly (PA)
     King (IA)
     King (NY)
     Kinzinger (IL)
     Kline
     Knight
     Labrador
     LaHood
     LaMalfa
     Lamborn
     Lance
     Latta
     LoBiondo
     Long
     Loudermilk
     Love
     Lucas
     Luetkemeyer
     Lummis
     MacArthur
     Marchant
     Marino
     Massie
     McCarthy
     McCaul
     McClintock
     McHenry
     McKinley
     McMorris Rodgers
     McSally
     Meadows
     Meehan
     Messer
     Mica
     Miller (FL)
     Miller (MI)
     Moolenaar
     Mooney (WV)
     Mullin
     Mulvaney
     Murphy (PA)
     Neugebauer
     Newhouse
     Noem
     Nugent
     Nunes
     Olson
     Palazzo
     Palmer
     Paulsen
     Pearce
     Perry
     Pittenger
     Pitts
     Poe (TX)
     Poliquin
     Pompeo
     Posey
     Price, Tom
     Ratcliffe
     Reed
     Reichert
     Renacci
     Ribble
     Rice (SC)
     Rigell
     Roby
     Roe (TN)
     Rogers (AL)
     Rogers (KY)
     Rohrabacher
     Rokita
     Rooney (FL)
     Ros-Lehtinen
     Roskam
     Ross
     Rothfus
     Rouzer
     Royce
     Russell
     Salmon
     Sanford
     Scalise
     Schweikert
     Scott, Austin
     Sensenbrenner
     Sessions
     Shimkus
     Shuster
     Simpson
     Smith (MO)
     Smith (NE)
     Smith (NJ)
     Smith (TX)
     Stefanik
     Stewart
     Stivers
     Stutzman
     Thompson (PA)
     Thornberry
     Tiberi
     Tipton
     Trott
     Turner
     Upton
     Valadao
     Wagner
     Walberg
     Walden
     Walker
     Walorski
     Walters, Mimi
     Weber (TX)
     Webster (FL)
     Wenstrup
     Westerman
     Westmoreland
     Whitfield
     Wilson (SC)
     Wittman
     Womack
     Woodall
     Yoder
     Yoho
     Young (AK)
     Young (IA)
     Young (IN)
     Zeldin
     Zinke

                               NAYS--182

     Adams
     Aguilar
     Ashford
     Bass
     Beatty
     Becerra
     Bera
     Beyer
     Bishop (GA)
     Blumenauer
     Bonamici

[[Page H8378]]


     Boyle, Brendan F.
     Brady (PA)
     Brown (FL)
     Brownley (CA)
     Bustos
     Butterfield
     Capps
     Capuano
     Cardenas
     Carney
     Carson (IN)
     Cartwright
     Castor (FL)
     Castro (TX)
     Chu, Judy
     Cicilline
     Clark (MA)
     Clarke (NY)
     Clay
     Cleaver
     Clyburn
     Cohen
     Connolly
     Conyers
     Cooper
     Costa
     Courtney
     Crowley
     Cuellar
     Cummings
     Davis (CA)
     Davis, Danny
     DeGette
     Delaney
     DeLauro
     DelBene
     DeSaulnier
     Deutch
     Dingell
     Doggett
     Doyle, Michael F.
     Duckworth
     Edwards
     Engel
     Eshoo
     Esty
     Farr
     Fattah
     Foster
     Frankel (FL)
     Fudge
     Gabbard
     Gallego
     Garamendi
     Graham
     Grayson
     Green, Al
     Green, Gene
     Grijalva
     Gutierrez
     Hahn
     Hastings
     Heck (WA)
     Higgins
     Himes
     Honda
     Hoyer
     Huffman
     Israel
     Jackson Lee
     Jeffries
     Johnson (GA)
     Johnson, E. B.
     Kaptur
     Keating
     Kelly (IL)
     Kennedy
     Kildee
     Kilmer
     Kind
     Kirkpatrick
     Kuster
     Langevin
     Larsen (WA)
     Larson (CT)
     Lawrence
     Lee
     Levin
     Lewis
     Lieu, Ted
     Lipinski
     Loebsack
     Lofgren
     Lowenthal
     Lowey
     Lujan Grisham (NM)
     Lujan, Ben Ray (NM)
     Lynch
     Maloney, Carolyn
     Maloney, Sean
     Matsui
     McCollum
     McDermott
     McGovern
     McNerney
     Meeks
     Meng
     Moore
     Moulton
     Murphy (FL)
     Nadler
     Napolitano
     Neal
     Nolan
     Norcross
     O'Rourke
     Pallone
     Pascrell
     Payne
     Pelosi
     Perlmutter
     Peters
     Peterson
     Pingree
     Pocan
     Polis
     Price (NC)
     Quigley
     Rangel
     Rice (NY)
     Richmond
     Roybal-Allard
     Ruiz
     Rush
     Ryan (OH)
     Sanchez, Linda T.
     Sanchez, Loretta
     Sarbanes
     Schakowsky
     Schiff
     Schrader
     Scott (VA)
     Scott, David
     Serrano
     Sewell (AL)
     Sherman
     Sinema
     Sires
     Slaughter
     Smith (WA)
     Speier
     Swalwell (CA)
     Takano
     Thompson (CA)
     Thompson (MS)
     Titus
     Tonko
     Torres
     Tsongas
     Van Hollen
     Vargas
     Veasey
     Vela
     Velazquez
     Visclosky
     Walz
     Wasserman Schultz
     Waters, Maxine
     Welch
     Wilson (FL)
     Yarmuth

                             NOT VOTING--8

     DeFazio
     Ellison
     Gowdy
     Hinojosa
     Ruppersberger
     Takai
     Watson Coleman
     Williams

                              {time}  1103

  Ms. BROWNLEY of California changed her vote from ``yea'' to ``nay.''
  Mr. BROOKS of Alabama changed his vote from ``nay'' to ``yea.''
  So the previous question was ordered.
  The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the resolution.
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the ayes appeared to have it.


                             Recorded Vote

  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I demand a recorded vote.
  A recorded vote was ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. This is a 5-minute vote.
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--ayes 242, 
noes 183, not voting 8, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 639]

                               AYES--242

     Abraham
     Aderholt
     Allen
     Amash
     Amodei
     Babin
     Barletta
     Barr
     Barton
     Benishek
     Bilirakis
     Bishop (MI)
     Bishop (UT)
     Black
     Blackburn
     Blum
     Bost
     Boustany
     Brady (TX)
     Brat
     Bridenstine
     Brooks (IN)
     Buchanan
     Buck
     Bucshon
     Burgess
     Byrne
     Calvert
     Carter (GA)
     Carter (TX)
     Chabot
     Chaffetz
     Clawson (FL)
     Coffman
     Cole
     Collins (GA)
     Collins (NY)
     Comstock
     Conaway
     Cook
     Costello (PA)
     Cramer
     Crawford
     Crenshaw
     Culberson
     Curbelo (FL)
     Davis, Rodney
     Denham
     Dent
     DeSantis
     DesJarlais
     Diaz-Balart
     Dold
     Donovan
     Duffy
     Duncan (SC)
     Duncan (TN)
     Ellmers (NC)
     Emmer (MN)
     Farenthold
     Fincher
     Fitzpatrick
     Fleischmann
     Fleming
     Flores
     Forbes
     Fortenberry
     Foxx
     Franks (AZ)
     Frelinghuysen
     Garrett
     Gibbs
     Gibson
     Gohmert
     Goodlatte
     Gosar
     Gowdy
     Granger
     Graves (GA)
     Graves (LA)
     Graves (MO)
     Griffith
     Grothman
     Guinta
     Guthrie
     Hanna
     Hardy
     Harper
     Harris
     Hartzler
     Heck (NV)
     Hensarling
     Herrera Beutler
     Hice, Jody B.
     Hill
     Holding
     Hudson
     Huelskamp
     Huizenga (MI)
     Hultgren
     Hunter
     Hurd (TX)
     Hurt (VA)
     Issa
     Jenkins (KS)
     Jenkins (WV)
     Johnson (OH)
     Johnson, Sam
     Jolly
     Jordan
     Joyce
     Katko
     Kelly (MS)
     Kelly (PA)
     King (IA)
     King (NY)
     Kinzinger (IL)
     Kline
     Knight
     Labrador
     LaHood
     LaMalfa
     Lamborn
     Lance
     Latta
     LoBiondo
     Long
     Loudermilk
     Love
     Lucas
     Luetkemeyer
     Lummis
     MacArthur
     Marchant
     Marino
     Massie
     McCarthy
     McCaul
     McClintock
     McHenry
     McKinley
     McMorris Rodgers
     McSally
     Meadows
     Meehan
     Messer
     Mica
     Miller (FL)
     Miller (MI)
     Moolenaar
     Mooney (WV)
     Mullin
     Mulvaney
     Murphy (PA)
     Neugebauer
     Newhouse
     Noem
     Nugent
     Nunes
     Olson
     Palazzo
     Palmer
     Paulsen
     Pearce
     Perry
     Pittenger
     Pitts
     Poe (TX)
     Poliquin
     Pompeo
     Posey
     Price, Tom
     Ratcliffe
     Reed
     Reichert
     Renacci
     Ribble
     Rice (SC)
     Rigell
     Roby
     Roe (TN)
     Rogers (AL)
     Rogers (KY)
     Rohrabacher
     Rokita
     Rooney (FL)
     Ros-Lehtinen
     Roskam
     Ross
     Rothfus
     Rouzer
     Royce
     Russell
     Salmon
     Sanford
     Scalise
     Schweikert
     Scott, Austin
     Sensenbrenner
     Sessions
     Shimkus
     Shuster
     Simpson
     Smith (MO)
     Smith (NE)
     Smith (NJ)
     Smith (TX)
     Stefanik
     Stewart
     Stivers
     Stutzman
     Thompson (PA)
     Thornberry
     Tiberi
     Tipton
     Trott
     Turner
     Upton
     Valadao
     Wagner
     Walberg
     Walden
     Walker
     Walorski
     Walters, Mimi
     Weber (TX)
     Webster (FL)
     Wenstrup
     Westerman
     Westmoreland
     Whitfield
     Wilson (SC)
     Wittman
     Womack
     Woodall
     Yoder
     Yoho
     Young (AK)
     Young (IA)
     Young (IN)
     Zeldin
     Zinke

                               NOES--183

     Adams
     Aguilar
     Ashford
     Bass
     Beatty
     Becerra
     Bera
     Beyer
     Bishop (GA)
     Blumenauer
     Bonamici
     Boyle, Brendan F.
     Brady (PA)
     Brooks (AL)
     Brown (FL)
     Brownley (CA)
     Bustos
     Butterfield
     Capps
     Capuano
     Cardenas
     Carney
     Carson (IN)
     Cartwright
     Castor (FL)
     Castro (TX)
     Chu, Judy
     Cicilline
     Clark (MA)
     Clarke (NY)
     Clay
     Cleaver
     Clyburn
     Connolly
     Conyers
     Cooper
     Costa
     Courtney
     Crowley
     Cuellar
     Cummings
     Davis (CA)
     Davis, Danny
     DeGette
     Delaney
     DeLauro
     DelBene
     DeSaulnier
     Deutch
     Dingell
     Doggett
     Doyle, Michael F.
     Duckworth
     Edwards
     Engel
     Eshoo
     Esty
     Farr
     Fattah
     Foster
     Frankel (FL)
     Fudge
     Gabbard
     Gallego
     Garamendi
     Graham
     Grayson
     Green, Al
     Green, Gene
     Grijalva
     Gutierrez
     Hahn
     Hastings
     Heck (WA)
     Higgins
     Himes
     Honda
     Hoyer
     Huffman
     Israel
     Jackson Lee
     Jeffries
     Johnson (GA)
     Johnson, E. B.
     Jones
     Kaptur
     Keating
     Kelly (IL)
     Kennedy
     Kildee
     Kilmer
     Kind
     Kirkpatrick
     Kuster
     Langevin
     Larsen (WA)
     Larson (CT)
     Lawrence
     Lee
     Levin
     Lewis
     Lieu, Ted
     Lipinski
     Loebsack
     Lofgren
     Lowenthal
     Lowey
     Lujan Grisham (NM)
     Lujan, Ben Ray (NM)
     Lynch
     Maloney, Carolyn
     Maloney, Sean
     Matsui
     McCollum
     McDermott
     McGovern
     McNerney
     Meeks
     Meng
     Moore
     Moulton
     Murphy (FL)
     Nadler
     Napolitano
     Neal
     Nolan
     Norcross
     O'Rourke
     Pallone
     Pascrell
     Payne
     Pelosi
     Perlmutter
     Peters
     Peterson
     Pingree
     Pocan
     Polis
     Price (NC)
     Quigley
     Rangel
     Rice (NY)
     Richmond
     Roybal-Allard
     Ruiz
     Rush
     Ryan (OH)
     Sanchez, Linda T.
     Sanchez, Loretta
     Sarbanes
     Schakowsky
     Schiff
     Schrader
     Scott (VA)
     Scott, David
     Serrano
     Sewell (AL)
     Sherman
     Sinema
     Sires
     Slaughter
     Smith (WA)
     Speier
     Swalwell (CA)
     Takano
     Thompson (CA)
     Thompson (MS)
     Titus
     Tonko
     Torres
     Tsongas
     Van Hollen
     Vargas
     Veasey
     Vela
     Velazquez
     Visclosky
     Walz
     Wasserman Schultz
     Waters, Maxine
     Welch
     Wilson (FL)
     Yarmuth

                             NOT VOTING--8

     Cohen
     DeFazio
     Ellison
     Hinojosa
     Ruppersberger
     Takai
     Watson Coleman
     Williams


                announcement by the speaker pro tempore

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (during the vote). There are 2 minutes 
remaining.

                              {time}  1111

  So the resolution was agreed to.
  The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

                          ____________________