House votes to curb Syrian refugees, snubs Obama veto threat

Migrants sit at no man's land near Idomeni village, northern Greece on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015. The United Nations refugee agency says Macedonia has begun allowing only people from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan to cross its southern border from Greece, while Greek authorities say migrants of other nationalities are gathering on the Greek side of the border and blocking the crossing completely. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)

WASHINGTON (AP) – The House has rebuked President Barack Obama by ignoring his veto threat and approving a Republican bill erecting fresh barriers for Syrian and Iraqi refugees trying to enter the United States.

Thursday’s passage came on a 289-137 vote – exceeding the two-thirds majority that would be needed to override a veto.

The roll call came after White House officials visited the Capitol and lobbied Democrats to oppose the legislation. Dozens of them ended up joining Republicans, anyway, and supporting the measure.

The curbs would in effect suspend the entry of Syrian and Iraqi refugees into the U.S. for months or years.

Republicans said tighter restrictions are needed following last week’s Paris terrorist attacks. Obama and most Democrats said the system was already safe and the U.S. shouldn’t abandon its tradition of accepting refugees.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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