The House of Representatives voted on Thursday in a nearly veto-proof majority to deny Syrian refugees safe harbor in the United States. In a move that reeks of election year a**holery, 47 Democrats joined with the Republicans, most likely because they don’t want to look “soft” on national security in an election year.
The final tally was 289 votes for the measure, just one vote shy of the 290 vote supermajority needed to safely overcome a veto, but that’s assuming the 9 that abstained are willing to vote against an override. The political posturing will be on for certain as both sides scramble to gain support, as the president has already promised to veto the measure.
Senator Harry Reid has already promised to do whatever he can in the Senate, though it appears to be an uphill battle. Democrats not afraid of their poll numbers are pushing their own proposal that would stiffen visa regulations and harden the vetting process for refugees.
According to the Associated Press:
In a stinging rebuke to President Barack Obama by Republicans as well as members of his own party, the House ignored a veto threat Thursday and overwhelmingly approved Republican legislation erecting fresh hurdles for Syrian and Iraqi refugees trying to enter the United States.
Dozens of Democrats joined Republicans as the House passed the measure 289-137. That margin exceeded the two-thirds majority required to override a veto, and it came despite a rushed, early morning visit to the Capitol by top administration officials in a futile attempt to limit Democratic defections for the measure.
Thursday’s vote came six days after a burst of bombings and shootings in Paris killed 129 people, wounded many more and revived post-9/11 jitters in the U.S. and Europe. The attacks have turned the question of admitting people fleeing war-torn Syria and Iraq into a high-stakes political issue in both the United States and Europe, and many congressional Democrats were willing to vote against their party’s lame duck president for fear of angering voters nervous about security at home.
No matter what happens from here — If You Only News will keep you updated — the Syrian People weren’t the only losers when the gavel came down. Freedom took a major hit in favor of reelection and fear.
Featured image via Wikipedia