WASHINGTON - Some conservative US Republican lawmakers want to tie US President Barack Obama's Syrian refugee resettlement program to a spending bill that must pass in order to keep the federal government open after the fiscal year ends on Sept. 30.
In a move that could complicate congressional leaders' efforts to pass the bill on time, members of the House of Representatives' conservative "Freedom Caucus" said they would support a temporary spending measure if it includes a moratorium on admitting the Syrians to the United States.
Republican Representative John Fleming, a caucus member, said putting limits on Syrian refugees is a "high priority" for the group. "We should not be allowing refugees from terrorist regions of the world, without proper vetting," he told reporters.
Democrats would object to such a measure, increasing worries that the government might shut down on Oct. 1 if Congress cannot pass the temporary spending bill, known as a "continuing resolution."
The Freedom Caucus' plan was first reported by Politico.
The Obama administration said on Aug. 29 it would meet its goal of admitting 10,000 Syrian refugees during the current fiscal year a month ahead of schedule and was working with Congress to increase the target by a few thousand during 2017.