House passes bill to slow Syrian refugees despite Obama veto threat

U.S. Speaker of the House Ryan holds news conference on Syrian refugee bill on Capitol Hill in WashingtonBy Megan Cassella and Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives, defying a veto threat by President Barack Obama, overwhelmingly passed Republican-backed legislation on Thursday to suspend Obama’s program to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees in the next year and then intensify the process of screening them. The measure, quickly drafted this week following the Islamic State attacks in Paris on Friday that killed 129 people, was approved on a vote of 289-137, with 47 of Obama’s 188 fellow Democrats breaking with the White House to support it. It would require that high-level officials – the FBI director, the director of national intelligence and homeland security secretary – verify that each Syrian refugee poses no security risk.

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