Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and others have pushed for changes to the visa waiver program in response to the Paris attacks. (Photo By Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)
While Syrian refugee resettlement has dominated the headlines in Congress this week, the more pressing national security debate in the Senate is about the way tourists and other travelers enter the United States.
Senators from both sides of the aisle emerged from closed briefings concerned about security risks posed by the visa waiver program, which allows citizens from 38 countries to visit the U.S. for up to 90 days without a visa. After an all-senators briefing by administration officials late Wednesday afternoon, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said she intends to introduce legislation Thursday — along with Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. — that would bar individuals who have been in Syria or Iraq within the past five years from making use of the visa waiver program to gain entry into the U.S.