WASHINGTON — In his first speaker's minute on the House floor, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) discussed the Paris attacks and urged the whole House to support legislation that the House will take up tomorrow to protect the American people from terrorists trying to take advantage of our refugee program:
The world stands with the people of France this week.
The events in Paris were horrifying. All of us were shaken by them.
Yet we know that whenever terror like this strikes, the world community will rally together.
Terror will not prevail.
But these events should serve as a reminder: There is still evil out there.
We cannot ignore it. We cannot contain it. We must defeat it.
And we must protect our people.
The country is uneasy and unsettled. And they have every right to be.
Not because of what they’re hearing from politicians, but what they’ve seen with their own eyes.
All of us here—Republicans and Democrats—are hearing these concerns in our offices.
People understand the plight of those fleeing the Middle East. But they also want basic assurances for the safety of this country.
We are a compassionate nation. We always have been, and we always will be.
But we also must remember that our first priority is to protect the American people.
We can be compassionate, and we can also be safe.
That’s what the bill we’re bringing up tomorrow is all about.
It calls for a new standard of verification for refugees from Syria and Iraq.
It would mean a pause in the program until we can be certain beyond any doubt that those coming here are not a threat.
It’s that simple. And I don’t think it’s asking too much.
I also want to point out that we will not have a religious test, only a security test.
If the intelligence and law-enforcement community cannot certify that a person presents no threat, then they should not be allowed in.
This is common sense. And it’s our obligation.
Let me also say to members and to the country that we cannot lose sight of the bigger threat in Syria.
The refugee crisis is just a consequence of a failed policy in that region. The ultimate solution is a plan to defeat ISIS.
That’s why we’re sending to the president a bill this week that requires him to finally propose an overarching strategy to deal with Syria and the terrorist threat in that region.
This threat is not going away until we acknowledge and confront the real danger that exists.
There is a long road ahead, but today—for this moment—I urge all of my colleagues to support the legislation tomorrow, and to help keep America safe.