Additional Information on the Federal Legislative Agenda, 116th Congress (2019-2020)
Peace Treaty to End the Korean War – YES
H.Res.152 was introduced to the House by Representative Khanna [D-CA-17], cosponsored by MA Reps. McGovern and Pressley. This resolution is a call for a formal end to the Korean War while also advocating for ongoing diplomacy. Here is Rep. Khanna’s press release on the issue.
Family Reunification – YES
Senator Hirono [D-HI] introduced S.3395 to the Senate to require consultations on reuniting Korean American families with family members in North Korea, which Senator Markey cosponsored. Here is a press release on this legislation.
Representative Meng of New York introduced companion legislation H.R.1771 to the House in an effort to help reunite Korean families separated by the Korean division. This bill was cosponsored by Reps. McGovern and Pressley, and later a vote under suspension passed the House 371-0. All MA Reps voted Yea except Kennedy and Moulton who did not vote. Here is a press release on the legislation.
No Unconstitutional War Against North Korea – YES
Representative Khanna [D-CA-17] introduced H.R.6639 in April 2020, while Senator Markey introduced the companion legislation S.4020 in June 2020 with Senator Warren as a cosponsor. These pieces of legislation prohibit unconstitutional military strikes against North Korea and emphasize a diplomatic solution to growing tensions. Here is a press release on this bicameral bill.
Enhancing North Korea Humanitarian Assistance Act – YES
In June 2020, Senator Markey [D-MA] introduced S.3908 and Representative Levin [D-MI-9] introduced companion House legislation H.R.7218, with Rep. Pressley as an original cosponsor. Both pieces of legislation aim to expedite the provision of humanitarian assistance, including life-saving medical care, to the people of North Korea. This would be achieved through enhancing exemptions from U.S. sanctions, enhancing multilateral sanctions exemptions, and streamlining humanitarian travel authorizations. Here is a press release on this issue.
Limiting Troop Reduction – NO
Representative Gallagher [R-WI-6] introduced H.R.889, which prohibits the Department of Defense (DOD) from reducing below 22,000 the number of active-duty service members deployed to South Korea unless DOD makes specified certifications, including that such a reduction is in the interest of national security.
MAPA does not support this bill as we support troop reduction. This bill interferes with ongoing Korean peace negotiations, and would set a precedent of limiting the ability of the President to withdraw troops in the future. No MA Reps. have cosponsored for this bill.
More information on formally ending the Korean War:
“North and South Korea Push to End Korean War, but U.S. Remains Wary” by Choe Sang-Hun
“After 65 years of ‘armistice,’ it’s about time to end the Korean War” by Frank Aum and S. Nathan Park
More information on family unifications can be found below:
“Korean Families, Seperated for 6 Decades, Are Briefly Reunited” by Choe Sang-Hun
“Inter-Korean family reunions: why now, and what broader impact?” by Oliver Hotham
Updated August 6th, 2020