Congress passes $1 billion Ukraine aid bill

April 2nd, 2014



United States lawmakers voiced immense support for a $1 billion bill to provide aid to Ukraine and further impose sanctions on Russia.

On Friday, March 28, several members of the House and Senate announced the legislation will not become law until next week, as the final version of the bill has not yet been officially approved in The House of Representatives.

The Senate and House passed separate, similar bills regarding aid to Ukraine. The House ultimately approved the Senate’s bill, which will be sent to President Obama by the end of the week to sign into law.

The bill provides $1 billion in loan guarantees to Ukraine to stabilize its economy and provides $100 million in direct aid. The bill also attempts to pave the way for stronger democracy and governance in Ukraine, as well as enhanced security cooperation.  According to PBS, it reaffirms sanctions already put into action against Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Mitch McConnell, John Thune, John Cornyn, Roy Blunt

“The sanctions freeze any assets those being sanctioned currently hold within U.S. jurisdiction and prohibit Americans from doing business with those targeted,” noted PBS.

The bill could not escape partisan bickering, though. The White House pushed for International Monetary Fund reforms in the bill, which were met with much resistance from Republicans in the House and Senate. In order to pass the legislation in a timely manner, Senate Democrats agreed to drop the IMF provision. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) voiced his opinion: “Pass this legislation as soon as possible and fight about less important issues later on. If we get hung up for another week because of our failure to act, it sends exactly the wrong signals.”

The bill is expected to pass in the coming week.

Editor’s Note: Information from PBS and Reuters was used in this report.