House to vote on tougher sanctions for North Korea

House to vote on tougher sanctions for North Korea
© Greg Nash

Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanWhy Mariel Cuban criminals deserve amnesty (and Anti-Castro Republicans should support it) GOP agrees on one thing: ObamaCare taxes must go Ryan reminds lawmakers to be on time for votes MORE (R-Wis.) said Thursday the House will soon vote to toughen sanctions against North Korea in the wake of the country's recent claims that it detonated a nuclear bomb this week.

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Ryan declined to provide any details about what the legislation might look like or when the vote might happen. A spokesman for Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who schedules votes on the floor, said a GOP committee chairman's task force will discuss the issue later Thursday and a vote could occur as soon as next week.

Speaking before Ryan, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said that Democrats would provide “strong bipartisan support” for a bill strengthening sanctions on North Korea. Congressional leaders are eyeing legislation to toughen penalties on companies doing business with Pyongyang in the wake of the country’s recent claims of detonating a hydrogen bomb.

Pelosi suggested the bill would not be controversial and would pass easily, possibly under suspension. She called reports of the detonation “deeply concerning.”

“While the initial analysis is that North Korea has overstated the nature of the test, but these reckless actions threaten the security of the region and the world. This irresponsible act by North Korea violates long-standing U.N. Security Council resolutions on nuclear weapons activities,” Pelosi told reporters. 

“Democrats in the committee will support the legislation. … It has been in the works for awhile, but just did not materialize since Monday night's test. But it is ready to go and we will support it.”