Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), senior member of Senate Foreign Relations Committee released the following statement after the House of Representatives voted to approve a bipartisan legislative package to impose additional sanctions on Russia, Iran, and North Korea. The final legislation was built upon the Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017 which Menendez introduced on March 23rd along with Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, (R-Tenn.), Ranking Member Ben Cardin (D-Md.), and Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.).
“I applaud the House of Representatives for approving this critical piece of legislation. As an original co-sponsor of S722, the Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act and of separate legislation to impose sanctions on these three countries, I believe this package is a solid bipartisan product that accommodates members’ requests on both sides of aisles while preserving the bill's original intention. As I have said for quite some time, there is seemingly no other way forward other than swift congressional action to condemn and counter North Korea’s dangerous provocations, Iran’s unfettered support for terrorism, and Russia’s unquestionable actions to undermine our democratic process and create chaos at our expense.
“The growing list of provocations, aggression and interventions by the leaders of these countries remind us why these are no friends to the United States. Their brand of leadership is aimed at shaking the bedrock-integrity of our political system and their actions are beyond the scope of any acceptable international norms that should be tolerated. I will work diligently with my colleagues so the Senate can swiftly approve this legislation without further delay. The United States must not waiver in our commitment to hold our international adversaries accountable for actions that threaten our national security and that of our allies, and we must ensure Congress delivers that message in unison with a veto-proof vote of approval in the Senate.”
The legislation includes key elements of the STAND for Ukraine Act and the Countering Russian Hostilities Act, both authored by Sen. Menendez to impose additional sanctions on Russia for undermining American democratic institutions and human rights violations, and also codifying existing sanctions requiring Congressional review of any decision to weaken or lift them in the future.