Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio) is now welcoming President Donald Trump's decision to designate North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism, despite voting against such a measure before.
"North Korea has been redesignated a state sponsor of terrorism, and I applaud the Administration for taking this step," Brown said. "Today’s decision is the direct result of bipartisan efforts this summer to require further sanctions on North Korea."
"We have recently offered another tough, new sanctions package that makes it clear we are serious about ramping up pressure on North Korea, to force its leaders to end its nuclear weapons program and halt its continuing human rights abuses—including those that took the life of Otto Warmbier," Brown added.
In 2009, the Senate considered amendments for the 2010 Fiscal Year National Defense Authorization Act (111th Congress, S. 1390), the Department of Defense's budget. One of the amendments offered by Sen. Sam Brownback (R., Kan.) would have made such a declaration regarding the rogue communist state.
Brownback's proposed amendment would have the Secretary of State declare North Korea "a state sponsor of terrorism." It failed to pass the Senate 43-54, with Brown among those voting against it.
Asked for comment on his past vote, Brown spokeswoman Jennifer Donohue gave a statement to the Washington Free Beacon saying Brown "helped pave the way" for the Trump administration's decision to declare North Korea a state sponsor of terror.
"Senator Brown helped pave the way for the Administration’s decision to declare North Korea a State Sponsor of Terror with the sanctions bill he helped craft this summer, and Senator Brown is continuing to hold North Korea accountable for its weapons testing and human rights abuses—including the death of Otto Warmbier—with the tough, new sanctions he helped pass out of the Banking Committee this month," Donohue said.
In 2009, Brown did vote in favor of a side-by-side amendment calling for "a review to determine whether North Korea should be re-listed as a state sponsor of terrorism." That amendment passed by a vote of 66-31, and it did not require any sanction against North Korea.
UPDATE 7:00 PM: This article was updated to include an explanation of the side-by-side amendment that Brown voted in favor of in 2009.