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Mitch McConnell

Republicans rush to shut borders to Syrian refugees

Republicans urged an immediate closure of America's borders to Syrian refugees Tuesday, drawing angry denunciations from President Barack Obama and other Democrats and igniting an emotional debate about U.S. values in the wake of the deadly Paris terror attacks.

"Pause" was the word used by both new House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, urging at least a temporary halt in the resettlement of Syrians and disputing Obama administration claims that the small numbers making their way here so far are being thoroughly investigated.

Obama, speaking Wednesday morning in the Philippines, deemed their words offensive and...