- A vote is scheduled for Tuesday on legislation to sanction North Korea
- The White House has shed doubt on whether Pyongyang had indeed detonated a hydrogen bomb
A vote is scheduled for Tuesday, according to House leadership.
The legislation, sponsored by House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce of California and Rep. Eliot Engel of New York, the top Democrat on the panel, would curtail North Korea's access to U.S. financial markets, targeting banks that may be supporting North Korea's arms, money-laundering or smuggling operations. It would also authorize the U.S. to sanction others who are facilitating or transferring assets to North Korea, penalize cybercrimes and crack down on human rights abuses.
The White House has shed doubt on whether Pyongyang had indeed detonated a hydrogen bomb, with White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest saying, "the initial analysis is not consistent with the North Korean claims."
Either way, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said the action threatens security in the region and predicted the sanctions bill would get "strong bipartisan support."
Royce acknowledged Wednesday that there was "a conflict of visions" between many in Congress and the administration on the merit of imposing sanctions, but he argued it was time for Congress to move the legislation.
While Congress would like to impose economic sanctions immediately, the White House has repeatedly said it is working with allies to decide what is the best way to deal with North Korea, whose economy is already crippled.
Earnest cited an extensive diplomatic effort in the region to bring additional pressure on Pyongyang and that additional economic sanctions against the isolated country may be a part U.S. response to the test. U.S. officials told CNN on Wednesday that they are pushing the United Nations to adopt a resolution with sanctions against North Korea.