Republican Maine Gov. Paul LePage says his state is withdrawing from the federal government's refugee resettlement program.

The Portland Press Herald reports LePage sent a letter to Democratic President Barack Obama on Friday citing concerns about the adequacy of vetting of refugees coming from countries such as Syria.

LePage cites the potential burden on Maine's welfare system. He says he's "lost confidence" in the federal government's ability to run the refugee program safely.

Obama's plan to resettle thousands of Syrian refugees out of the millions displaced by civil war has become a contentious political issue. Maine has resettled 39 Syrian refugees. Connecticut has resettled 334, Massachusetts 145.

LePage has made welfare reform and stricter immigration standards pillars of his time in office, which has been sometimes marred by questionable comments and behavior including threats directed at a legislator. —AUGUSTA, Maine (AP)