By Cory Bennett - 01/27/16 06:50 PM EST
Sen. Michael BennetMichael BennetTim Kaine backs call to boost funding for Israeli missile defense Bacteria found ahead of Olympics underscores need for congressional action for new antibiotics Top GOP senator: Trump will have little effect on Senate races MORE (D-Colo.) on Wednesday called on his colleagues to move a bill that would strengthen the government's ability to sanction North Korea for hacking.
“North Korea’s repeated acts of aggression and hostility call for stronger sanctions,” Bennet said in a statement.
Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) originally introduced the measure last year, and Bennet later signed on as a co-sponsor.
Officials have blamed Pyongyang in recent years for orchestrating the bruising hack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, as well as for a series of cyberattacks on South Korean banks and nuclear facilities.
North Korea has also been widely denounced of late for its disputed claim that it carried out a successful hydrogen bomb test.
That test, Bennet said, “along with other acts of provocation demonstrate its disregard for international law and its desire to pursue a nuclear weapon.
“A bipartisan bill will send a strong message that the United States will not tolerate this intransigence and will give the Administration additional tools to strengthen and expand sanctions against the North Korean regime and those who support it,” he added.
Bennet's measure mirrors a bill from Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on East Asia and cybersecurity.
Gardner's legislation, the so-called North Korean Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act, would force President Obama to create a strategy to thwart and sanction North Korean hackers.
Bennet’s office said the two bills are expected to be merged when the Senate Foreign Relations Committee considers the issue on Thursday.