NPR‘s Susan Davis reports that Senator Chuck Schumer may be breaking with the White House on Syrian refugee resettlement:
Schumer: A "pause" on refugees may be necessary. Waiting to see what admin tells senators tmw in classified briefing.
— Susan Davis (@DaviSusan) November 17, 2015
After the slaughter in Paris, the Obama administration’s plan for refugee resettlement has become a flashpoint. GOP governors across the country—plus, recently, the Democratic governor of New Hampshire—have said they would not help resettle refugees in their states unless further security precautions are taken. At the same time, liberals—from pundits to the president—have derided Republicans as xenophobic monsters with an unusual level of cynicism and condescension.
If Schumer, the Senate Minority Leader in waiting, does end up defecting from the liberal line on this question, that could inspire more open opposition within the president’s own party. While GOP governors don’t technically have the power to halt refugee resettlement, Congress does have the potential to make resettlement much more difficult. But even if he doesn’t come down one way or the other, Schumer’s ambivalence (and he has surely been talking to constituents and looking at polls) shows that caution about the administration’s refugee policy isn’t as confined to the anti-immigrant right, despite what many liberal commentators seem to believe.