“Congress Should Not Betray Our Nation’s Most Fundamental Values,” Says Congresswoman Lee

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee spoke on the floor in opposition to the Republican closed rule (H. Res. 531), which does not allow for revisions or input by Members, and underlying bill, H.R. 4038. Following the vote on the Republican measure to halt and eliminate the resettlement of Syrian refugees, she released this statement:

“People around the globe watched in horror as terrible attacks hit Paris and other cities around the world.  My thoughts and prayers continue to be with those affected at this difficult time.

As Members of Congress, our first goal is keeping our nation and its people safe. Using these terrible attacks as a pretense to close our doors to families that are fleeing ISIL in their home countries would be a grave mistake.

Preventing these people, the overwhelming majority of whom are women and children, from seeking refuge from the violence of war would be a betrayal of our nation’s most fundamental values.

We should never equate refugees with terrorists.

Refugees fleeing ISIL face the world’s most intensive vetting process before entering the U.S. Our refugee vetting process includes multiple intelligence, security and law enforcement agencies.

I am proud that Oakland, in my Congressional district, has resettled more Syrian refugees than any other city in the Bay Area.

I continue to strongly oppose the Republican practice of not allowing input or revisions on bills and the underlying xenophobia and Islamophobia that is the hallmark of H.R. 4038.”

Watch the Congresswoman’s statement on the floor.


Congresswoman Lee is a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees, the Steering and Policy Committee, is a Senior Democratic Whip, former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. She serves as chair of the Whip’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity.