The Senate will vote next week on legislation to crack down on North Korea after the country said it tested a hydrogen bomb.
Penalties would include freezing assets under U.S. jurisdiction, banning individuals from traveling to the United States or blocking government contracts.
McConnell's move will also help the legislation avoid any potential landmines that could pop up if a senator tried to offer a controversial amendment—similar to what happened when the Senate debated legislation allowing Congress to review the Iran nuclear deal.
Cardin voiced concern that so-called "poison pill" amendments could get attached to the otherwise uncontroversial proposal.
"The question is what happens on the floor of the Senate," he told The Hill last week. "I think Senator Corker and I can defend the bill [on North Korea] but if it gets into other areas, you never know."