Senators suggested Monday evening that they expect the Senate will pass new sanctions legislation after North Korea said earlier this month that it tested a hydrogen bomb.
"We have members on our side, and the other side, that have bills here, so we're going to go through it methodically," Sen. Bob CorkerBob CorkerSenate panel votes to confirm Tillerson Rubio to vote for Tillerson Top Dem comes out against Tillerson ahead of key vote MORE (R-Tenn.) told reporters.
Sen. Ben CardinBen CardinOvernight Energy: Senate panel clears Tillerson for State Senate panel votes to confirm Tillerson Top Dem comes out against Tillerson ahead of key vote MORE (D-Md.) added, separately, that two proposals have been introduced in the Senate — one from Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamSenate panel votes to confirm Tillerson Overnight Defense: Trump nominates Air Force secretary | Senate clears CIA director | Details on first drone strike under Trump Rubio to vote for Tillerson MORE (R-S.C) and Robert MenendezRobert MenendezCarson likely to roll back housing equality rule Live coverage: Tillerson's hearing for State Booker to join Foreign Relations Committee MORE (D-N.J.) and another from Sen. Cory GardnerCory GardnerTrump applauds congressional allies as he kicks off inaugural festivities Overnight Tech: Tech listens for clues at Sessions hearing | EU weighs expanding privacy rule | Senators blast Backpage execs Overnight Tech: Trump meets Alibaba founder | Uber to make some data public | GOP Lawmakers tapped for key tech panels MORE (R-Colo.) — and that he's already had "some conversations with [with Corker] to make sure we have one bill."
The comments come after members of the Foreign Relations Committee, which Corker and Cardin lead, had a closed-door briefing with Obama administration officials on "assessing the recent North Korea nuclear event."
The briefing in the Senate comes as the House is expected to pass new sanctions legislation this week. The legislation, from House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.), would block North Korea’s access to hard currency and target its assets for nuclear development.
Corker said that while the briefing with the administration didn't specifically focus on what sort of sanctions Congress should impose, he added, "I think they believe that action by Congress would be helpful."
It's unclear if the Senate could take up the House bill, which is expected to have enough support to pass the lower chamber, or move its own proposal.
Instead, Menendez said that he's had conversations with Corker about the Foreign Relations Committee taking up his legislation and is working to merge it with a separate bill.
"I think we're working with Senator Gardner, who has a bit of a different version, to reconcile it, and see if we can bring it to the chairman in a bipartisan effort," the New Jersey senator said.