Gardner Policy Provisions Adopted by Foreign Relations Committee

Washington, DC – Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy, announced today that the Committee adopted two amendments he offered to the State Department Reauthorization legislation considered today, as well as provisions in the underlying text authored by Senator Gardner.

The first amendment is a Sense of Congress advocating for a change in Administration policy towards the North Korean regime. The text of amendment is identical to Senator Gardner’s resolution originally introduced last month.                                                        

The amendment details the North Korean regime’s history of military threats, human rights abuses, and violations of international laws and agreements. It advocates for additional targeted sanctions against the regime and cautions against resuming any negotiations without strict pre-conditions, including a complete halt of Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs, proliferation activities, military provocations, and a significant and verifiable improvement in the regime’s human rights record. The full text of the resolution can be read here.

Gardner’s second amendment would require the State Department to produce a strategy relating to U.S. international policy with regard to cybersecurity. The comprehensive strategy, the first of its kind for the Department, would include an assessment of current efforts to build international norms in cyberspace, a plan of action moving forward, and would provide an assessment of the U.S. diplomatic and punitive tools available to deter nation-state actors and other threats to United States cybersecurity. 

The amendment also specifies that the State Department should work in consultation with other U.S. government agencies and the private sector in producing the report, which would be released to the public within 90 days of the bill being signed into law. This amendment was co-sponsored by Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), the Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, also serving concurrently as the Ranking Member of Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy. The full text can be read here.

Senator Gardner also secured a provision in the base text bill which mandates that the Administration conduct a comprehensive review of resources devoted to United States engagement in the Asia-Pacific region.  This follows Senator Gardner’s effort in the FY2016 Budget Resolution, which passed unanimously.