sanctions

Iran, North Korea and Crypto
Fintech Beat, Ep. 36

Looking toward the North Korean side of the Joint Security Area within the DMZ from Panmunjom, South Korea. (Photo By Niels Lesniewski/CQ Roll Call)

Fintech Beat gives an inside view from former intelligence officials on how sanctions and political gyrations between the Trump administration and Iran and North Korea can impact financial technology, and how these regimes can use cryptocurrencies in nefarious ways.

Road Ahead: Turkey sanctions unite chambers; impeachment ramps up with Congress’ return
After a two-week recess, lawmakers return to a full plate

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is trying to balance work on the impeachment inquiry with other priorities. Above, Pelosi with fellow California Democrat Adam B. Schiff, the House Intelligence chairman, on Oct. 2. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Congress is returning from its two-week recess and although both chambers were expected to take up bipartisan proposals against President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria, a Monday night executive order may change the calculation.

Opposition to the president’s move had united lawmakers despite the ongoing impeachment inquiry that has ratcheted up partisan divisions. Key congressional Republicans have slammed Trump’s decision to remove U.S. forces from northern Syria, where the troops have been a shield for U.S.-allied Kurds in the fight against the Islamic State terrorist group. But the announcement Monday night of an executive order slapping new sanctions on Turkey over its military operations against Kurdish forces in Syria has the support of South Carolina GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Risch drops Saudi measure; panel backs Menendez sanctions bill
Sends strong message of displeasure with the Saudi de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Jim Risch, R-Idaho, left, withdrew his own Saudi legislation after the committee voted to amend it by adding a sanctions bill from ranking member Robert Menendez, D-N.J., right. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday advanced to the floor bipartisan legislation that would impose sanctions on Saudi Arabia for its human rights abuses, though the panel’s chairman said he would “absolutely not” recommend it be brought up for a vote.

Chairman Jim Risch withdrew his own Saudi legislation after the committee voted to amend it by adding ranking member Robert Menendez’s sanctions bill to it. In the end, only the Menendez bill was reported to the floor.

Capitol Ink | Hard Lines in the Sand

Watch: Pence condemns Maduro, announces new sanctions on Venezuelan regime
 

Vice President Mike Pence spoke in Colombia on Monday decrying the actions of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. Pence was joined by Venezuela’s interim president Juan Guaidó, who has been recognized by the United States and a number of other allies.

Debate Over Sanctions Misses Real Issue: Lax Funding for Enforcement
 

Mnuchin: Foreign Groups ‘On Notice’ About Business With North Korea

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin discussed the Trump administration’s new sanctions on North Korea, saying the order sends a message that foreign financial institutions are “on notice.”

House Looking at Moving Its Own Sanctions Bill, Adding North Korea
Measure would replace Senate Iran and Russia sanctions bill that faced blue slip issue

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said the House could add North Korea provisions to a Russia and Iran sanctions measure. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced Friday that the House is looking to add North Korea provisions to a Russia and Iran sanctions bill that is stuck in a procedural morass. 

The House passed a standalone North Korea sanctions bill in May on a 419 — 1 vote, but the Senate has yet to take up the measure. Adding North Korea to the Russia and Iran sanctions measure would ensure speedier Senate consideration. 

Senators Seek to Follow White House Action on North Korea
Lawmakers hope to ratchet up economic pressure on Pyongyang

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner is one of a handful of lawmakers pushing sanctions legislation on North Korea. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senators from both sides of the aisle are hoping to move quickly on legislation that would put further economic pressure on North Korea in the aftermath of the country’s first successful launch of a long-range ballistic missile.

The bills, which would, among other things, impose additional economic sanctions on financial institutions that do business with Pyongyang, are the latest in a line of major foreign policy matters before the chamber in the early tenure of a presidency that largely lacks the traditional diplomatic experience of past administrations.