Vote Explanation for H.R.3364 — Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act
I voted for H.R. 3364 which includes strong and necessary steps to sanction Russia, Iran, and North Korea.
The provisions in this bill update and expand U.S. sanctions on North Korea as it continues to develop its nuclear capabilities and long-range ballistic missiles while also violating the basic human rights of its people. It provides additional financial levers to prevent Kim Jong Un’s regime from accessing hard currency through illicit trade. It also sanctions those who employ North Korean slave labor, a particularly heinous source of revenue for the Kim regime.
The bill imposes additional targeted sanctions on Iranian entities that contribute to the development of long-range ballistic missiles with the capability to strike our allies in the Middle East. It also sanctions Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) for its support of terrorism, a direct threat to the U.S. and our allies, including Israel. I have repeatedly called for the U.S. to act to counter Iran’s destabilizing actions in the Middle East — including the IRGC’s support for the brutal Assad regime in Syria, support for Hezbollah in Lebanon, and support for other terrorist groups, as well as Iran’s continued expansion of ballistic missile capabilities. Though I supported and will continue to support the Iran nuclear deal as long as Iran remains in compliance, these actions must be countered and doing so does not violate the letter or the spirit of the agreement.
Finally, the bill sanctions Vladimir Putin and his associates by targeting corrupt networks of individuals and front companies as well as entities involved in arms sales and certain exports of oil and gas in response. These sanctions are in response to Russian cyberattacks on the U.S. during the 2016 elections and the country’s continued support of the Assad regime. The bill also requires important reports from the administration on the illicit financing and money laundering used by Putin’s associates to enrich themselves and their front companies. It also contains a structured provision that prevents the executive branch from removing or unilaterally altering such sanctions without the involvement of Congress.
As evidence continues to emerge of President Trump’s ties to Russia, the White House has shown it is uninterested in standing up to Putin’s aggression in Europe, and, even worse, uninterested in responding to his direct attack on our democracy. While President Trump cozies up to Putin, Congress will not stand idly by and will act in our national interest. I am proud to support H.R. 3364 and will continue to act to preserve our national security.