“Russian attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election in the United States were flagrant and unacceptable. Their meddling has not been confined simply to our borders – as they carried out aggressive campaigns to disrupt the elections of our European partners. These actions must stop.
“In response, I joined a bipartisan majority of my colleagues today in voting in favor of comprehensive legislation that codifies existing sanctions put in place under the Obama Administration and enacts new sanctions against individuals and entities involved in these activities, and brings renewed pressure to the governments of North Korea and Iran. This package makes clear that cyber-attacks, provocative missile tests, and other destabilizing work by these governments runs contrary to global peace and security. It is incumbent upon our nation to lead the international community in confronting these actions.
“Today’s vote is a meaningful step in preventing Vladimir Putin from conducting future influence campaigns around the world and ensuring accountability for the Russian Federation’s destabilizing actions in Ukraine including the attempted annexation of Crimea and fomenting conflict in eastern Ukraine. This bill also holds President Trump accountable in any potential roll-back of existing sanctions. It also holds that North Korea’s continued violations of U.N. resolutions and threats to disrupt the Indo-Asia-Pacific region cannot be allowed to continue. Following the July 4, 2017 North Korean missile test, on top of continued Iranian ballistic missile tests, the United States must make clear that further development of long-range weapons systems that threaten the United States and its allies is unacceptable.
“Also included in the bill were critically needed initiatives, such as a pilot program to facilitate the processing of remittances by local credit unions and banks here in the United States to Somalia. The ability of Somali Americans to send money to their loved ones is an issue of life or death for families in Somalia, and we must explore creative solutions that allow for the continued flow of remittances to Somalia. The worsening humanitarian crisis in this fragile country will be made far worse if we do not take action.
“In recognition of the important provisions of this legislation, I encourage swift enactment of this package of sanctions for President Trump to sign into law.”