Senate narrowly thwarted the GOP’s offer to restrict aid to Afghan refugees


WASHINGTON – The evenly divided Senate narrowly opposed a Republican amendment on Thursday aimed at restricting aid to Afghan refugees who were quickly evacuated to the United States and which would have made it difficult for them to obtain real ID.

Senator Tom Cotton, R-Ark. Attempted to pend the government funding bill through early December, which was passed later Thursday. Cotton’s amendment received 50 votes, one less than necessary for success. The balance broke after partisan lines.

In addition to providing emergency funding to keep the government open, the spending measure includes emergency funding to relocate Afghan refugees who fled the Taliban takeover of the country and the US exit from the military.

Cotton’s amendment aimed to interrupt, among other things, housing, food and medical assistance for Afghans granted parole to enter the United States quickly, starting March 31, 2023.

Cotton also tried to remove wording from spending legislation that would allow young Afghan refugees to obtain driver’s licenses or ID cards without the usual need for some documents.

Republicans have raised concerns that the language in the bill would allow refugees to obtain real IDs in the post-September 11, 2001 Congress-mandated terrorist attacks to tighten security at airports and federal facilities.

In a statement Thursday, former President Donald Trump called on his Republicans to vote against the larger spending laws, arguing that the rules for Afghan refugees amounted to a “major recast of immigration,” the “free welfare and government-issued ID cards.” “Would offer.

“We have already seen some of the horrific assaults and sex crimes,” Trump said. “But these horrific attacks will only be the tip of the iceberg if this is not stopped. … This draft law must be contradicted. “

Trump did not provide any evidence to support his claims.

The funding gap will keep the federal authorities’ existing spending until December 3rd. At that point, Congress must adopt another short-term resolution called a rolling resolution or pass a dozen budget laws that will fund federal agencies through fiscal 2022.

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