WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4038, the American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act:

“Today I voted against the American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act for a number of reasons.

“The brutal attacks in Paris are the latest impact of ISIS’s horrific and morbid ideology perpetrated against innocent people worldwide. ISIS poses a serious threat to our nation and to American allies and interests worldwide. In times of danger and uncertainty, our top priority must be the safety and security of Americans and our homeland.

“H.R. 4038, however, is nothing more than a politically-driven and fear-mongering response to a serious threat. It will not ultimately strengthen our national security and in fact undermines the foundation upon which this nation was built.

“Refugees and asylum seekers are already subjected to rigorous and thorough security background checks- the most extensive of any category of people coming into the United States. The process already takes between 12 and 24 months and involves the Departments of Homeland Security, Defense and State as well as the FBI and the National Counterterrorism Center. Those seeking to come to this nation under those categories are fleeing the same senseless terror and violence that seeks to harm us. Of the more than 2,000 Syrian refugees admitted to the United States since 2001, not a single one has been arrested on domestic terrorism charges.

“The United States has a long and important history of standing as a shining light of freedom and democracy for those seeking the freedom to live in happiness, security and peace. Many of us would not be here today were it not for this nation’s values and ideals.

“Instead of politics and fear-mongering, we must focus on ensuring that the agencies responsible for keeping our nation safe have the resources and support they need. I stand ready to work with my colleagues to ensure that we are doing everything we can to protect our citizens and our homeland. In my estimation, this bill contributes nothing to either of those fundamental responsibilities of the Congress.”