November 19, 2015
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers today spoke on the House floor in support of H.R. 4038, the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act of 2015. The bill passed the House on a bipartisan vote of 289-137.
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today first to reaffirm our solidarity with the people of France, our brethren in Beirut, and the victims of Metro Jet Flight 9268 who perished over the skies of the Sinai. The senseless and sinister violence, the deep-seated fanaticism, the utter and irrational disdain for western society advanced by ISIS – together they present a threat not just to national and global security, but also to the fundamental values that constitute the very fiber of human civilization.
"They must be stopped. The violence must end. And the United States must do more. More to stamp out this evil, more to eradicate the threats posed here and abroad, and more to ensure that Americans can tuck in their children with a feeling of security that they will wake up for school in the morning free from fear.
"That is why I support the SAFE Act, which we have under consideration today. It is a thoughtful bill which will further one of our principal national security priorities: keeping Americans safe as we work to eliminate the threat posed by ISIS.
"The instability in Syria and the surrounding region has continued unabated for more than four years, and we have witnessed an indescribable humanitarian crisis because of the brutality of the Assad regime and radical Islamist groups, such as ISIS. In the wake of the Paris tragedy, we must step back and review the procedures in place for admitting refugees resulting from this conflict into our own country. We can and must implement a system that assists the victims of this tragedy and that prioritizes American security first.
"HR 4038 will ensure that no refugee from Iraq or Syria steps foot on US soil without a thorough vetting by top US security personnel. The Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and the Director of National Intelligence must unanimously certify that a person seeking refuge in our country does not represent a security threat. This is an unprecedented vetting process to ensure dangerous people do not slip through the cracks. I urge your support so we can provide our military and intelligence personnel with the best possible chance for success as they work to keep us safe. Thank you, and I yield back."