The Corner

Paul Ryan Moves Forward on Syria Refugee Strategy

Amid the rising chorus of Republican lawmakers demanding a moratorium on the program, Speaker Paul Ryan is seeking legislation this week to take action on President Obama’s Syrian refugee resettlement initiative. 

In a closed-door conference of House Republicans early Tuesday morning, Ryan said that the U.S. should take in no refugees unless “we are 100% they won’t do us harm,” per a source inside the room. Kevin McCarthy announced the assembly of a task force of committee chairmen of jurisdiction, including Homeland Security, Armed Services, Judiciary, Intelligence, Appropriations, and Foreign Affairs to craft legislation, ideally to be presented this week. According to Armed Services member Bradley Byrne (R-Al.), that proposal will likely come to the table on Thursday, when Republicans are scheduled to meet as a conference once more. 

For Ryan, it’s a sharper stance than the one he’s voiced thus far; on Monday, speaking with radio talk-show host Bill Bennett, he permitted only that the crisis presented a “unique situation,” sparking calls from GOP presidential candidates such as Mike Huckabee and Ben Carson to commit to defunding the program. 

The Syrian refugee program has captivated the House agenda this week, and takes on a particular prescience as the specter of a government shutdown looms. Key Republican lawmakers will fight to strip the program’s funding from the upcoming spending bill, and the president said in a press conference yesterday that he refuses to budge, priming the landscape for a likely battle. 

In an interview with National Review on Monday, Armed Services member Mo Brooks called Obama’s hard-line stance on funding the program, in light of Friday’s brutal massacres, “masochistic.”

In September, Obama revamped the program to allow up to 10,000 Syrian refugees to enter the U.S. in the next fiscal year. The outcry among lawmakers was spearheaded by reports that one of the terrorists in the Paris attacks on Friday was a Syrian refugee, who had traveled by way of Greece.

Most Popular


Viva l’Italia?

Italy has just had elections, with very interesting results. I wanted to talk with Alberto Mingardi, which I have. He is one of the leading classical liberals in Italy -- the director general of the Bruno Leoni Institute, in Milan. (Mingardi himself is Milanese.) He is also an authority in arts and letters. In ... Read More

Putin and the Cult of Leadership

On Sunday, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin won an unsurprising reelection-campaign victory against Communist Party candidate Pavel Grudinin, by a margin of 76.7 percent to 11.8 percent. The results were unsurprising because Putin is a tyrant who murders or imprisons political rivals, and who isn’t afraid to use ... Read More

Trump and Brexit Derangement Syndrome

I am not one of those Brexiteers who believe that Brexit and Trumpism are essentially the same phenomenon in two different countries. To be sure, they both draw on some of the same political trends, notably a distrust of elites and an upsurge of popular anger over evident failures of public policy such as illegal ... Read More

Stand Up to Putin

President Putin’s landslide victory in Russia’s presidential election was achieved against the lackluster competition of a group of mediocre candidates from which the sole serious opponent had been excluded; amid plausible allegations that his security services had tried to poison two Russians in England by ... Read More