Share

POLITICS: PennAve

House proposes financial aid package for Ukraine

By |
Congress,Russia,National Security,PennAve,Sean Lengell,Sanctions,Ukraine

The House has tentatively scheduled a Thursday vote on a loan package for Ukraine.

Specifics of the financial aid package had not been released as of late Wednesday.

The measure is to be considered under a suspension of House rules, meaning that a two-thirds majority is needed for passage. The move, a fast-track tactic, suggests the package has wide bipartisan support.

The Senate, meanwhile, is taking a slower approach regarding proposed aid to Ukraine. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Wednesday that Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and the panel's senior Republican, Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, are working on an aid package -- but that it likely won't be ready for several days.

"Whether I can do it next week, I don't know," Reid said. "There's a lot of pressure to complete everything in the next 48 hours here, and I don't know if we can do that."

"But it's my understanding [that Menendez and Corker] are going to have legislation that will certainly [include] some aid to the Ukrainian government or let them know that we support their efforts."

The House also is mulling potential sanctions against Russia for its military occupation of Ukraine's Crimea region. The leaders of the House Foreign Affairs Committee -- Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., and Ranking Member Eliot Engel, D-N.Y. -- introduced legislation Wednesday that condemns the "violation of Ukrainian sovereignty" and calls for sanctions on Russian officials, banks and other state agencies.

The bill, while not mandating specific penalties, would urge the Obama administration to work with European allies and other countries to impose visa, financial, trade and other sanctions on senior Russian Federation officials, majority state-owned banks and commercial organizations. It would also target other state agencies "as appropriate."

"It is important that Congress support tough sanctions on Russia to pressure it to end its military aggression and provide assistance to bolster Ukraine's new government," Royce said. "This resolution is the first step toward accomplishing that."

No such bill has been introduced in the Senate.

View article comments Leave a comment
Author:

Sean Lengell

Congressional Correspondent
The Washington Examiner