Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly today announced that, when the Senate considers the annual national defense bill, he will push for passage of his amendment requiring the President to submit a strategy on North Korea to Congress. Donnelly, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has previously called for a clear, comprehensive strategy on North Korea. The Senate could begin consideration of the national defense bill as early as this week.
Donnelly said, “As we confront the serious threat that North Korea poses to the security of our country, our servicemembers, and our allies in the region, we must have a clear, comprehensive strategy. That plan must be realistic about our capabilities and the resources it would take to achieve our objectives. When the Senate considers the national defense bill, which has traditionally been one of the most bipartisan and consequential bills Congress considers each year, I’m hopeful my colleagues will support this amendment.”
Donnelly’s amendment would give the Administration 90 days to develop a plan that covers the security threat posed by North Korea, the economic and political relationships between North Korea, China and Russia, and the detailed roadmap to achieving identified objectives. It would also require the plan to identify the resources needed to achieve these goals and any currently existing gaps in capabilities. The plan would need to be updated quarterly.
As Ranking Member of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, Donnelly has led efforts to increase funding for U.S. missile defense programs and supported provisions in this year’s national defense bill to significantly strengthen the U.S. homeland missile defense system against the threat of an intercontinental ballistic missile attack.
As Ranking Member of the Banking Committee’s National Security and International Trade and Finance Subcommittee, Donnelly co-led a hearing with subcommittee chairman Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) to assess U.S. and international sanctions against North Korea and China in relation to North Korea’s nuclear missile program, and to push the Administration on its options to expand sanctions. On Thursday, the Senate Banking Committee will holding a hearing, “Evaluating Sanctions Enforcement and Policy Options on North Korea.” This hearing comes after Donnelly and U.S. Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) continued to call for increased sanctions on both North Korea and China designed to crack down on North Korea’s weapons program.
President Trump recently signed into law bipartisan sanctions that Donnelly helped the Senate pass on entities that provide financial services to North Korea and on North Korean shipping.