Miss. Republicans back bill to block Syrian refugees

WASHINGTON – Mississippi Republican lawmakers joined their House colleagues in approving a bill Thursday that would block Syrian refugees from coming to the United States until they undergo a more stringent vetting process.

The legislation, approved 289-137, was rushed to a vote in response to last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris. One terrorist is believed to have entered Europe through Greece with a group of Syrian refugees, sparking calls by congressional leaders to “pause” the flow of refugees from Syria and Iraq into the U.S.

U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo called the bill a “powerful first step to stopping dangerous terrorists from reaching our soil.’’

But Democrats in the Senate have vowed to block the legislation there, and President Obama has promised to veto it if it reaches his desk.