Visas not guns: the talk following Obama's ISIL address
Alex Schuman, Congressional Correspondent – WASHINGTON (MEDIA GENERAL) - On Sunday night, Pres. Barack Obama addressed the nation in prime time following two mass shootings in San Bernardino, Calif., and Paris. which are now recognized terror attacks.
Obama hoped to calm Americans, explain his strategy for fighting ISIL and pressure Congress to take action further action to prevent more attacks and mass shootings. However, according to Republicans, the president did not offer any new ideas.
"It was incredibly disappointing," Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) said of the speech. "President Obama took time from Americans last night to double down on a failed strategy."
Obama specifically asked Congress to support his plan to ban anyone on the No Fly List and Terror Watch List from buying a gun. Pompeo, along with most of his fellow Republicans, do not support the ban.
"No jihadi is going to be stopped by a few words on a piece of paper in Washington, D.C.," Pompeo said. "If they seek to get a gun – or how about the pipe bombs that they were intending to use – there will be no restriction in place on paper that will stop them."
Republicans and Democrats in Congress seem to be on the same page as Obama in other areas. One is changing the visa-waiver program, which allows people coming to the U.S. from certain European countries enter the U.S., through an expedited process with less stringent background checks.
"We've seen that the screening process to-date is inadequate to meet the threat that we find ourselves under today," Pompeo said.
Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) said he is part of a bipartisan group working to write a bill that will change this program.
"Our vulnerability is the visa-waiver program," Warner said. "It's not some of the political posturing that we're talking about with the refugees---the ability of someone with a French or Belgian passport to come to America without additional screening – if that individual has been to a war zone – we need to correct that."
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