November 18, 2015 / 5:25 PM / 4 years ago

No 'religious test' in House bill pausing Syrian refugees: Ryan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan called on Congress on Wednesday to promptly pass legislation tightening controls on Syrians seeking asylum in the United States, but stressed that such a bill will not discriminate against Muslims.

“We will not have a religious test, only a security test,” Ryan, the top House Republican said in a speech to the chamber. Some Republicans have said that only Syrian Christians should be eligible for asylum in the United States.

Ryan said the legislation, if enacted, would bring a “pause” in President Barack Obama’s program allowing some Syrians fleeing war to come to the United States.

Reporting By Richard Cowan; Editing by Doina Chiacu

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