July 26, 2017

Van Hollen Statement in Support of the Countering America’s Adversaries Act

U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen submitted the following statement to the congressional record in support ofthe Countering America's Adversaries Act:

"Mr. President, I am strong supporter of H.R. 3364, the Countering America's Adversaries Act, which sanctions Russia, Iran, and North Korea. I call on President Trump to sign this package into law, without delay.

"This Act imposes tough sanctions Russia for its interference in our elections, its attempts to undermine faith in the democratic process across the West, its support of the brutal regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and its intervention in Ukraine. Critically, the legislation prevents President Trump - who has repeatedly demonstrated his affinity for Vladimir Putin -- from removing sanctions on Russia without the approval of the Congress. It sends a clear and unequivocal message to the Kremlin: the United States will not tolerate attacks on our democracy.

"The administration has repeatedly certified Iran's compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. This landmark, multilateral nuclear accord is a critical part of our effort to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and has made our partners and allies in the region safer. However, Iran's ballistic missile tests, its support for regional terrorism, and its human rights abuses merit a strong response. This Act codifies executive orders sanctioning Iran for these dangerous, non-nuclear actions.

"Our response to North Korea -- which U.S. officials now believe will be able to field a reliable, nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile as early as next year - must be bold and comprehensive. While I support the sanctions imposed on North Korea under the Countering America's Adversaries Act, I believe they fall far short of the aggressive sanctions needed to sever North Korea's ties to the international financial system and create the leverage necessary for successful nuclear negotiations. That is why I strongly urge the Senate to pass the Banking Restrictions Involving North Korea Act, which I introduced with Senator Toomey. I look forward to working expeditiously with my colleagues to pass comprehensive sanctions on North Korea in the fall."