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Sen. Paul lifts hold on aid to elderly and disabled refugees

In return for a promise by Democratic leaders to hold a congressional hearing into how refugees are admitted, Senator Rand Paul finally agreed to lift his hold on a bill extending Supplemental Security Income to vulnerable refugees, Politico reports. The hearing will include testimony from Sen. Paul. Moreover, the inspectors general at the Departments of State, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services will be requested jointly by Sen. Paul and Sen. Schumer (D-N.Y.), the author of the refugee benefits bill and Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Immigration Panel, to investigate why Iraqi terrorism suspects were admitted into the United States.

The legislation extending refugee benefits– benefits that expired on September 30th– could still face additional delays, with a House Ways and Means spokesman suggesting the bill contains a revenue provision and should have originated in the House. “This took longer than it should have, but we are glad to reach a bipartisan agreement to extend this assistance to disabled refugees,” Sen. Schumer said. “Now it is time for the House to act so these individuals don’t have to wait any longer.”