Vote Explanation for the the Korean Interdiction and Modernization of Sanctions Act
Tensions between the United States and North Korea have continued to escalate due to North Korea’s continued development of nuclear weapons as well as missile technology that could deliver those warheads to the United States. Should North Korea successfully develop this capability, the U.S. would face an unacceptable threat. The U.S. and partner nations have attempted to force North Korea to abandon its nuclear aspirations for decades through adding sanctions, removing sanctions, trade, and diplomacy, but none have so far been successful.
That is why today I voted for the Korean Interdiction and Modernization of Sanctions Act (H.R. 1644). This bipartisan bill expands existing sanctions against the North Korean government by extending sanctions against individuals and companies who buy coal, iron, textiles, fishing rights, military-use fuel, or certain agricultural products from North Korea. These items represent some of North Korea’s only means to obtain the funds necessary to fund their government and weapons programs. Thus this legislation could apply pressure to disrupt the timeline for North Korea’s weapons development. The legislation also prevents organizations who provide financial services to North Korea from doing business in the United States.
I support the extensive use of diplomacy as a frontline approach to settle foreign disputes peacefully. The United States must continue to work with its partners to resolve this situation. I will continue to work with my colleagues and the White House to try to find a peaceful, diplomatic agreement to ensure North Korea does not develop nuclear weapons capable of reaching the United States.
I voted for this bill which passed 419–1.