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senate Bill S. 2145

Providing $1 Billion to Help Middle Eastern Refugees

Argument in favor

The U.S. needs to play a leading role in resolving the refugee crisis in the Middle East. This bill would provide for necessary resources that could deliver aid and enable refugees to settle in the U.S.

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11/24/2015
"People are leaving Iraq, they're leaving Syria, with just the clothes on their backs," he said. "The world has got to respond. The United States should be part of the response." [cnn.com]
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BarackObama's Opinion
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11/24/2015
"Slamming the door in the face of refugees would betray our deepest values. That's not who we are. And it's not what we're going to do." [twitter.com/POTUS]
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11/11/2015
Nearly 60 million people worldwide have been driven from their homes by war and persecution. Half of the displaced are children. For once, instead of spending billions on war, we can use our resources to provide humanitarian relief and save lives. Please join us in voting yes on S. 2145.
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Argument opposed

It isn’t America’s responsibility to spend $1 billion helping refugees from conflicts on the other side of the world. While their circumstances are tragic, the federal budget is already stretched too thin.

DonaldTrump's Opinion
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11/25/2015
"I think Paul Ryan would be very unwise to take the funding refugee resettlement stance." [breitbart.com]
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operaman's Opinion
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11/11/2015
No! And who is the brilliant thinker to post this question? Why not use this $1,000,000,000 to support our injured vets who have freed these local citizens so they could vote. How many times must we free these voters from themselves?
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NoahStowers's Opinion
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11/13/2015
How about we spend $1 Billion on our own people. Things like taking care of our veterans, our homeless citizens, and our failing education system. How about helping troubled communities in our own country. If we started taking care of our own people more, we'd be a lot better off.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Appropriations
    IntroducedOctober 6th, 2015

What is Senate Bill S. 2145?

This bill provides $1 billion in supplemental appropriations to the State Department’s Migration and Refugee Assistance account to respond to the refugee crisis resulting from conflict in the Middle East. It includes costs associated with the resettlement of a variable amount of refugees in the U.S. These funds are designated as an emergency requirement, which exempts the funds from discretionary spending limits and other budget enforcement rules.

Prior to using funds provided by this bill, the State Department must submit a report to Congress that includes specified details regarding the refugees who have fled Syria and Iraq, the costs associated with resettlement, and the proposed uses of funds provided by this bill.

This bill doesn’t specify a number of refugees to be resettled in the U.S., but based on the security vetting procedures the State Department adopts it could accommodate up to 100,000 refugees over the 2016 and 2017 fiscal years.

The State Department may transfer funds provided by this bill to other federal agencies to assist in the resettlement in the United States of refugees fleeing conflict in the Middle East. Prior to transferring these funds, however, the State Department must notify Congress.

Impact

Refugees from the Middle East, the State Department, and Congress.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 2145

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Cosponsoring Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) cited America’s history of welcoming refugees that flee war and persecution in his call to address the refugee crisis in the Middle East:

“The United States has a long and proud tradition of welcoming refugees fleeing war and persecution. As Pope Francis made clear in his recent visit, today’s global refugee crisis is historic in its size and scope. It warrants a response commensurate with our nation’s role as a humanitarian leader. The disaster in Syria dwarfs anything we have seen for decades, with millions of people uprooted and seeking safety in other countries. It is a humanitarian emergency of staggering proportions, and we need to do more. Our bill would make that possible.”

This bill was introduced as a bipartisan collaboration between Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and has since been cosponsored by another 10 Democrats and one Independent Senator.


Of Note: According to Amnesty International, there are four million Syrian refugees who have fled into neighboring countries, and half of Syria’s population has been displaced by the conflict. Across the border, another 3 million Iraqis have been displaced within their own country.

In the midst of the refugee crisis affecting the Middle East and Europe, the Obama administration announced plans to accept another 10,000 refugees from Syria over the next year starting in 2015. The U.S. was only prepared to accept 2,000 Syrian refugees, and overall quotas top out at 70,000 refugees per year. This plan has drawn criticism after the U.S. accepted more than 80,000 Somali refugees between 1983 and 2004, some of whom joined radical Islamic terror groups.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user Mustafa Khayat)

AKA

Middle East Refugee Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2016

Official Title

A bill to make supplemental appropriations for fiscal year 2016.

    "People are leaving Iraq, they're leaving Syria, with just the clothes on their backs," he said. "The world has got to respond. The United States should be part of the response." [cnn.com]
    Like (119)
    Follow
    Share
    "I think Paul Ryan would be very unwise to take the funding refugee resettlement stance." [breitbart.com]
    Like (46)
    Follow
    Share
    "Slamming the door in the face of refugees would betray our deepest values. That's not who we are. And it's not what we're going to do." [twitter.com/POTUS]
    Like (55)
    Follow
    Share
    Nearly 60 million people worldwide have been driven from their homes by war and persecution. Half of the displaced are children. For once, instead of spending billions on war, we can use our resources to provide humanitarian relief and save lives. Please join us in voting yes on S. 2145.
    Like (51)
    Follow
    Share
    "Some politicians have already moved in that direction, proposing to close our country to people fleeing the massacre in Syria. That is not who we are. We are a country of immigrants and refugees, a country made strong by our diversity, a country founded by those crossing the sea fleeing religious persecution and seeking religious freedom." [motherjones.com]
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    No! And who is the brilliant thinker to post this question? Why not use this $1,000,000,000 to support our injured vets who have freed these local citizens so they could vote. How many times must we free these voters from themselves?
    Like (29)
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    Refugees fleeing dangerous countries need more help starting their lives here in the US and the resources available to them are so scarce. We need to provide Refugees with better opportunities and more help
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    How about we spend $1 Billion on our own people. Things like taking care of our veterans, our homeless citizens, and our failing education system. How about helping troubled communities in our own country. If we started taking care of our own people more, we'd be a lot better off.
    Like (16)
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    "To turn these refugees away would play right into the terrorists' hands. And we know what ISIL hopes to accomplish. They've told us." [twitter.com/VP]
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    "Republican Governors in 13 states have now called for the rejection of Syrian refugees fleeing the very same violence we saw in Paris.They are rejecting our values in the face of fear & ignorance. Keeping America safe and staying true to who we are is not a zero-sum choice." [twitter.com]
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    Let's take care of Americans first.
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    Well I'm not afraid to be a monster about this issue. 1.) the Muslim faith is in direct opposition to Christianity, that is a fact and not just an opinion of radicals. The Quran calls all non Muslims by a name we veterans know well! It's called Infidel. There is no way we should pay for and bring more people into this country that will someday cause more problems for us here. This is a fact people. Also did we as Americans run to Canada or Mexico when the British tried to maintain there control over us? No, we fought and we died and won our freedom. That is the way it is in the world. These are the people that are stuck in the middle of fighting but they need to fight for themselves and stay in their homeland. I hate it when we bring in people from other countries and they can't conform to our ways. My ancestors did it, you don't see me running around trying to speak Swedish or French or some of the other languages of my ancestors. so why is that so hard to ask others to do? Why do we have places in America that you can't even order a hamburger because all the employees don't speak English? Don't spend any more money on refugees, don't spend any more on fighting over there, don't spend any more propping up corrupt governments, don't spend any more on foreign aide. If we took all that money and spent it at home where it is needed, rebuilding inner cities, education of our kids, feeding the homeless and creating public works jobs for them. We need to solve our own problems before we go out and try to solve the worlds problems.
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    Not no - but HELL NO! We don't have a billion dollars. If we do, pay down the debt.
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    The arrogance of the President and Democrats is unbelievable! He created the crisis in the Middle East by abandoning Iraq, supporting the radical Arab Spring and ignoring Syria. Now they want to endanger American lives by bringing refugees here to the US. Some terrorists will arrive with the people fleeing the chaos created by President Obama and Hillary Clinton, that is a fact recognized by intelligence and military leaders. I would support giving some funds (not $1B) to Muslim countries whose culture matches the refugees and can integrate them.
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    We need to address this issue with diligent care. Their war torn country inhibits these folks from an environment that is inhabitable to live! I stand with our President for his compassion toward others.
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    When our government decides to spend trillions of dollars investing in war, then we need to be accountable for our actions and what we have helped create over in the middle east. We bear a huge amount of responsibilty for the unrest over there. Instead of giving Israel the most foriegn aide to continue their genocidal oppression of the Palestinians, which also creates more refugees, give that money to the victims who are fleeing the death and destruction we directly or indirectly fund. As Colin Powell warned us, we break it we own it. Well it look to me like its pretty broken. Just imagine what it feels like to be them, take that it. You and your family displaced because of war, in a strange country trying to survive, hungry, cold, and you have to look into your childrens eyes everyday and see their despair.
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    Spend this money at home taking care of our own and our veterans FIRST. The US govt. will end up sending this money overseas (and most of it will not likely be spent the way we'd like to think it's supposed/intended to be spent)...then, they'll still end up letting refugees into the US and spend even more money on them here. So, again I say...Spend this money at home taking care of our own and our veterans FIRST.
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    I do believe that we should accept middle eastern refugees however, we need a plethora amount of strong background and security checks of each refugee in order to avoid a devastation in our soil such as a terrorist attack, or any form of violence and would harm YOU AND I. Furthermore, i do not support our federal government providing 1 billion dollars because we can be utilizing this money to invest in our economy and creating "American Jobs" as well. Remember our nation is a priority first, we are a dumping ground to the globe JUST... TOO..MUCH
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    This is for refugee resettlement in the United States. While I sympathize with the plight of refugees, there is no process to properly vet them. Another bill should be considered, one that doesn't resettle unknown persons within our borders who would be on a path to automatic US citizenship. No more Islamists should be taken in by western countries. I remember when our national spending was in the billions, rather than the trillions, and this is a billion dollar budget. Ridiculous.
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    They don't want to be Americans, they don't want the Constitution or freedom, they want the quern and sharias Law and to domanit the world and America with Islam, why would we fund that ?
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