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Ryan’s Speaks with Fox News’s Hannity

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November 19, 2015 | Ian Martorana (202-225-3031) | comments
“This should not be about Republicans and Democrats—this should be about keeping America safe,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said last night during an appearance on Fox News’s Hannity with Sean Hannity. Here are excerpts from their conversation on the Syrian refugee crisis and eliminating the threat of ISIS.

On the president’s threat to veto Congress’s refugee legislation:
“I don’t for the life of me understand this. He just said he is going to veto our bill putting a pause on the refugee program. I can’t imagine why one would do that. Our bottom line is very, very clear—and it’s the first responsibility of the federal government—secure the homeland. Keep people safe in America."

“So here’s what we’re doing. We obviously know that ISIS wants to infiltrate the refugee population. That’s very clear. So we need to put a pause on this program and have higher standards placed upon it so that we can verify on a person-by-person basis, each and every single refugee, whether or not they pose any security risk."

On putting politics aside and finding a bipartisan solution:
“This should not be a partisan issue. Democrats agree with us here in Congress, and I think we’re gonna have a pretty big bipartisan vote tomorrow. Because this should not be about Republicans and Democrats. This should be about keeping America safe.”

“This is our national security. It shouldn’t be politicized like the president is politicizing it. And that is why we are asking all of our colleagues to support fixing this, pausing this, and getting this right.”

On raising the standards of the refugee program:
“We’re a compassionate country. The refugee laws are important laws. And we don’t want terrorists to dictate how we run—whether we have a law or not. But we don’t think—in this particular case with respect to ISIS trying to infiltrate the Syrian and Iraqi refugee program—that the standards are anywhere near where they should be.”

On the president’s failure to devise a strategy to defeat ISIS:
“The reason we’re having this conversation about refugees, the reason we’re having this conversation about ISIS, is because we don’t have a plan to defeat ISIS. It’s because the president and his foreign policy—particularly with respect to Iraq and Syria—is so abysmal, so lacking, it didn’t contain ISIS, and we don’t have a strategy to defeat ISIS. So let’s not forget the big picture here, which is we have terrorism, worldwide, knocking on our door, and we do not have a plan to defeat this terrorist threat.”
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