Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) today lambasted the lack
of engagement from the State Department on legally-required annual consultation
with Congress about the number of refugees admitted in the upcoming year.
Grassley issued the following statement after yesterday’s State Department
announcement of a new refugee cap.
I appreciate the administration’s commitment to protecting national security
and public safety by proposing a refugee cap, which accounts for the need to
conduct adequate and thorough screenings of all who seek this benefit, it is
imperative the agencies abide by their statutory mandate to consult with
Congress before any number is proposed. Yet, for the second year in a row, the
administration has willfully ignored its statutory mandate to inform and
consult with Congress, including designated members of both the House and
Senate Judiciary Committees, about the number of refugees to be admitted during
the next fiscal year.
significant bipartisan and bicameral outreach from Congress to the Departments
of State, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services, yesterday the State
Department announced the 2019 refugee numbers at a public press briefing before
consulting with Congress. It is clear by the administration’s action that
Congress should take action to ensure the required discussions occur in the
law requires an in-person consultation with Congress by a cabinet official
before any presidential determination can be issued. Last year, Grassley and
Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) also rebuked
the administration for a lack of consultation ahead of the annual refugee cap