Senators plot next steps after North Korea test
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 CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerFormer Dem Tenn. gov to launch Senate bid: report McConnell 'almost certain' GOP will pass tax reform Former New Mexico gov: Trump's foreign policy is getting 'criticized by everybody' MORE (R-Tenn.) told reporters. 
 
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Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinDems demand Tillerson end State hiring freeze, consult with Congress Former New Mexico gov: Trump's foreign policy is getting 'criticized by everybody' Dems put hold on McFarland nomination over contradictory testimony: report MORE (D-Md.) added, separately, that two proposals have been introduced in the Senate — one from Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP and Dems bitterly divided by immigration We are running out of time to protect Dreamers US trade deficit rises on record imports from China MORE (R-S.C) and Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezSenate ethics panel resumes Menendez probe after judge declares mistrial Judge declares mistrial in Menendez bribery case Menendez jury deadlocked, ordered to keep trying MORE (D-N.J.) and another from Sen. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerDems look to use Moore against GOP McConnell: 'No change of heart' on Roy Moore US trade deficit rises on record imports from China 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.