Dear Friend,

It has been another eventful week in Washington. This week, I introduced a bill aimed at North Korea, and also spoke about why we need to keep dangerous terrorists from Guantanamo out of Colorado.

North Korea

This week, I introduced the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2015 (NKSPEA) along with Senators Rubio and Risch. This legislation includes broad new sanctions against individuals involved in North Korea’s nuclear program and proliferation activities, as well as officials involved in censoring the regime’s continued human rights abuses.

While much attention has rightfully been paid to developments in the Middle East, we must not forget the severe risk posed by the nuclear-armed and increasingly belligerent regime in North Korea. My bill has new sanctions against North Korea’s nuclear proliferators and human rights abusers, and requires a U.S. strategy on cybercrime.

If the Administration is unwilling to provide a stronger, more focused policy on North Korea, Congress must act.

Watch my short video here


Watch my opening remarks at a Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee hearing on North Korea here.

 Guantanamo Detainees Being Transferred to Colorado

I strongly oppose any move by the Obama Administration to transfer Guantanamo detainees to Colorado. The Guantanamo facility houses some of the world’s worst international terrorists, and it’s critical that we keep them there.

TV Interviews

Earlier this week, I joined Gretchen Carlson to discuss the President's failed foreign policy and his ill-advised consideration of moving Guantanamo terrorists to Colorado. Watch the interview here.


Additionally, I sat down with Wolf Blitzer in The Situation Room on Tuesday to discuss North Korean aggression. Watch the interview here.


National Defense Authorization Act

As the President’s foreign policy failures continue to pile up, it is unconscionable that he is threatening to veto the National Defense Authorization Act, which would strengthen our military and support our servicemen and women.

Given that Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terror, is receiving billions in sanctions relief through the President’s nuclear deal, it’s more important than ever that we are fully equipped to confront the threats we face.

The NDAA would authorize funding for the training, equipment, and pay raises that our troops need and deserve. I call on the President to drop his ill-conceived veto threat, and for all members of Congress to come together to ensure our military has the resources it needs to keep America safe.


Energy and Natural Resources Committee Hearing

During a hearing yesterday, I was able to ask a few questions of Michael Connor, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior.

I wanted answers on an issue critical to Colorado: water storage. We must improve and streamline the regulatory process on water storage projects to ensure that essential facilities are completed and not held up by red tape. You can watch the exchange here




Congress to Push Obama on North Korea Sanctions

October 6, 2015

Now that Iran sanctions are on the verge of being rolled back, Congressional attention is turning to increasing and tightening sanctions on North Korea, a country with a growing nuclear weapons program and that continues to threaten and provoke the international community.

Oct. 10 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Workers' Party of Korea, and Western governments are concerned that Kim Jong Un will mark the holiday by launching a rocket or satellite, or even detonating a nuclear bomb for the fourth time. There’s new activity at  North Korea's nuclear test site, but nobody really knows what, if anything, the country is planning to do next.

Regardless, North Korea has amassed enough nuclear material to make about nine bombs and will have enough for about 80 weapons by 2020, according to the highly regarded Institute for Science and International Security. Earlier this year, the chief of  the U.S. nuclear defense command said that Pyongyang now has the technology to reach the U.S. with a nuclear-tipped missile. Such estimates are driving the Senate to increase pressure on Pyongyang.

“The policy of strategic patience has been a strategic failure,” Cory Gardner, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific and International Cybersecurity Policy, told me in an interview.

Read the full story here.



North Korea sanctions bill would mandate anti-hacking plan

October 6, 2015

A trio of senators has introduced legislation that would force President Obama to create a strategy to thwart and sanction North Korean hackers.

The provision is part of a larger North Korean sanctions bill from Sens. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). The measure, known as the North Korean Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act, would broadly sanction the reclusive Asian country’s nuclear program and crack down on party officials for covering up human rights abuses.

“The new sanctions within this legislation would apply the pressure required to change North Korea’s behavior, and would mandate that the United States finally have a unified strategy for dealing with North Korean cyberattacks,” said Gardner, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on East Asia and cybersecurity, in a statement. “We can’t go any longer without a serious plan to deal with this threat. It’s time to get serious.”

Read the full story here.



EDITORIAL: Don't bring Gitmo to Colorado

October 6, 2015

President Barack Obama, don't import terror suspects to Cañon City or Florence. We don't want them in our homeland, much less in Colorado.

We all know the president has a Gitmo problem. He promised to close the federal government's detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, during his first run in 2008. He told a teenager in Cleveland this spring he would close Gitmo his first day in office, if he could have a mulligan. He did not do so the first time around for good reason. One cannot simply release some of the world's most dangerous men without a plan to keep other people safe.

As Obama nears his last year in office, failure to deliver on Gitmo grows as a legacy concern. To help resolve the issue, Obama has asked U.S. Department of Defense officers to visit Colorado during the next two weeks to explore transferring detainees from Guantanamo Bay to prisons in Florence and Cañon City.

Read the full story here



Thank you for taking the time to read my weekly update. If I can be of any assistance to you, please contact my Washington D.C. office at (202) 224-5941.




Cory Gardner

United States Senator