House Republicans seek increased vetting of Syria refugees

WASHINGTON — House Republicans are outlining legislation aimed at increasing screenings for Syrian and Iraqi refugees before they enter the United States, including a requirement for FBI background checks.

But Democrats say the changes would amount to shutting down the nation’s refugee program. They are accusing Republicans of turning their backs on victims fleeing the horrors of Islamic State terrorists.

Some conservatives also oppose the bill, saying it doesn’t go far enough.

Nonetheless the bill looks likely to pass when it comes to the House floor on Thursday.

Republican leaders say it’s important to act quickly in response to the terror attacks in Paris. They say they’ve tried to strike a balance in the bill, noting it would not limit refugees based on their religion.