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Sheila J.
Democrat TX 18

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  • North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act of 2016

    by Representative Sheila Jackson Lee

    Posted on 2016-01-11

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    JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, recent news of North Korea's claim that it successfully conducted an H-bomb test for the first time, in defiance of United Nations' resolutions ups the ante on why we must remain steadfast in expediently addressing insecurity in our nation and across the globe, as anticipated in this bill by Representative Royce of California, entitled the North Korean Sanctions Enforcement Act of 2,315 which has enjoyed bi-partisan support.

    Our world today is faced with resurgent and evolving threats from weapons of mass destruction to destructive nuclear ambitions.

    Indeed, news events inform us of the far-ranging spectrum we must contend with, ranging from persistent nation state-based dangerous nuclear ambitions in North Korea, to continued chemical weapons used in Syria, to terrorist organizations such as Daesh ramping up their destructive capabilities through vitriolic recruitment strategies, that pose an existential threat beyond the borders from which ISIS is operating.

    I am confident that these are issues that President Obama will be addressing and proposing durable solutions to during his last state of the Union Address as our nation's Commander In Chief.

    Under his leadership, our nation has achieved foreign policy feats that have worked to maintain our security, promote our geopolitical objectives and advance our diplomatic relationships with key allies.

    Let's just take a quick look back at some of the President's foreign policy achievements: The capture and neutralization of Osama Bin Laden which brought an end to a nearly decade long manhunt.

    The withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq which helped to bring an end to a costly war, helping our country save billions of dollars in U.S. taxpayer funds.

    The current Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which has been instrumental in deterring and stemming Iran's nuclear ambitions and enabling security in the global society.

    The repealing of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, an aspersion on the personal private matters of those who have dedicated their lives to protect our nation.

    Signing into law the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), an important treaty that showcases how the U.S. leads by example by signing a treaty that requires both the United States and Russia to reduce their nuclear warhead arsenals to 1,550 each, a 30 percent reduction from the 2002 Treaty of Moscow and a 74 percent reduction from the 1991 START treaty.

    Neutralization of al Qaeda propagandist and foreign fighter recruiter Anwar Al Awlaki, one of the main leaders in the Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

    Indeed, under President Obama's leadership, our country's military aid to Israel has increased remarkably with the eye towards deepening and expanding U.S./Israeli relations-an important aspect of our nation's foreign policy and geopolitical efforts to promote peace in the region.

    This president's foreign policy achievements in promoting the security of our nation are irrefutable and this is why I support the North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act of 2015 because it will empower him to continue his impressive work in this arena.

    Much like the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) championed by this Administration, this bill encourages our President to investigate any credible information of sanctionable activities involving North Korea.

    Furthermore, this bill will designate and implement sanctions against persons and entities who knowingly engage in or contribute to activities in North Korea whether it is through their exporting or importing of weapons of mass destruction, significant arms, significant luxury goods, money laundering, censorship, or engage in human rights abuses.

    Pursuant to the bill, the President is empowered to exercise authorities under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) as it relates to persons, entities and the government of North Korea.

    This bill empowers our President with discretionary authority to designate and apply sanctions to persons involved in certain other kinds of conduct.

    This bill will facilitate civil forfeiture of assets, real or personal, if said properties inure from any attempted or actual violation of this Act, or which constitutes or is derived from proceeds traceable to such a violation.

    Other core provisions of the bill is the empowerment of our Treasury Secretary to: determine whether reasonable grounds exist for concluding that North Korea is a jurisdiction of primary money laundering concern; and In the event our Treasury Secretary makes this determination, he is empowered to impose one or more special measures with respect to the jurisdiction of North Korea.

    Finally, our sense of Congress in this bill is in comity with and ensures the consistent enforcement of United Nations Security Council resolutions and financial restrictions on North Korea.

    Through this bill, our president will be empowered to withhold assistance under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to any country that provides lethal military equipment to, or receives it from the government of North Korea.

    This bill is also important because it will put into place an enhanced screening procedure whereby our Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) will be able to determine if physical inspections are warranted of any cargo bound for or landed in the United States that has been transported through a foreign seaport or airport whose inspections are deficient if there are reasonable grounds to believe that such cargo contains goods prohibited under this Act.

    [[Page H241]] This will facilitate expedient seizure of vessels or aircraft used to facilitate sanctionable activities.

    The President will also be supported in his efforts to produce progress reports on significant activities undermining cyber security conflicted, or otherwise ordered or controlled, directly or indirectly, by the government of North Korea.

    Our Secretary of State will be supported in his human rights efforts of reporting on each political prison camp in North Korea, which will include a detailed description of those abuses or censorship.

    Again, I thank Chairman Royce for championing this bill and look forward to working with him and other members of this House in promoting our national security and supporting our President's objective of establishing us as a credible and trusted leader in the global landscape.

    The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the gentleman from California (Mr. Royce) that the House suspend the rules and pass the bill, H.R. 757, as amended.

    The question was taken.

    The SPEAKER pro tempore. In the opinion of the Chair, two-thirds being in the affirmative, the ayes have it.

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