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 CorkerGlobal climate pact may bump into Senate roadblock GOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election Trump appoints fundraiser to national security advisory council MORE (R-Tenn.) told reporters.
Sen. Ben CardinBen CardinSanders, Dem senators press Obama to halt ND pipeline Dems to McConnell: Pass 'clean' extension of Iran sanctions Top Foreign Relations Dem: US needs to 'revisit' approach to Russia MORE (D-Md.) added, separately, that two proposals have been introduced in the Senate — one from Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamTrump on primary rivals who don't back him: 'I don't know how they live with themselves' The Trail 2016: Who is really winning? Graham: GOP Senate could rein in Clinton White House MORE (R-S.C) and Robert MenendezRobert MenendezWarren, Menendez question shakeup at Wells Fargo Democrats press Wells Fargo CEO for more answers on scandal Dem senator: Louisiana Republican 'found Jesus' on flood funding MORE (D-N.J.) and another from Sen. Cory GardnerCory GardnerGOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election Administration vows 'proportional' response to Russian hack Trump denies Russia behind attack, despite fed investigation saying otherwise 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.