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 CorkerOvernight Defense: GOP leaders express concerns after 9/11 veto override | Lawmakers press for Syria 'plan B' | US touts anti-ISIS airstrikes Dem leaders defend overriding 9/11 bill veto GOP leaders express reservations a day after 9/11 veto override MORE (R-Tenn.) told reporters.
Sen. Ben CardinBen CardinHow the White House got rolled on the Saudi-9/11 bill Senate Democrat calls on Mexico to step up search for missing students Senators already eyeing changes to 9/11 bill after veto override MORE (D-Md.) added, separately, that two proposals have been introduced in the Senate — one from Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamKerry: US 'on the verge' of suspending talks with Russia on Syria GOP leaders express reservations a day after 9/11 veto override McConnell opens door to changing 9/11 bill MORE (R-S.C) and Robert MenendezRobert MenendezDemocrats press Wells Fargo CEO for more answers on scandal Dem senator: Louisiana Republican 'found Jesus' on flood funding Taiwan and ICAO: this is the time MORE (D-N.J.) and another from Sen. Cory GardnerCory GardnerState official hints more Chinese firms being probed for N. Korean ties GOP senators ask watchdog to examine Gitmo site surveys spending GOP pressures Kerry on Russia's use of Iranian airbase 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.