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White House: Obama would veto tougher refugee checks

The White House has said that President Barack Obama would veto a Republican bill that would see a tougher screening process for Syrian refugees. The legislation comes in the wake of the deadly Paris attacks.

The US House of Representatives is set to vote as early as Thursday on resolution 4038, which aims to

block administration plans to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees

in the coming year.

The bill also calls for FBI background checks. It wouldn't, however, end the refugee program or implement religious screenings as some Republicans have demanded.

According to the White House, the US' current screening process involves multiple federal intelligence, security and law enforcement agencies, including the National Counterterrorism Center, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Departments of Homeland Security, State, and Defense.

'World's most vulnerable'

Washington said on Wednesday that the proposed bill would introduce "unnecessary and impractical requirements" that would harm efforts to assist some of the world's most vulnerable people."

"Given the lives at stake and the critical importance to our partners in the Middle East and Europe of American leadership in addressing the Syrian refugee crisis, if the President were presented with HR 4038, he would veto the bill," the White House said.

Watch video 02:25

Obama under pressure after Paris attacks

'Obligation'

The legislation, proposed by House Homeland Security chairman Michael McCaul, follows the fatal terrorist bombings and shootings in Paris last Friday which saw 129 people killed and more than 350 injured.

In light of the attacks, speaker Paul Ryan described the bill as "common sense" and the "obligation" of the House of Representatives.

"If the intelligence and law-enforcement community cannot certify that a person presents no threat, then they should not be allowed in."

ksb/bw (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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