Congress Approves Ukraine Aid, Expects Obama Signature This Week

Both chambers passed legislation Thursday but still have work to do before anything lands on the president’s desk.

People hold a huge flag, a combination of a Ukrainian, Crimean and Tatar flags, on Independence Square in Kiev on March 23, 2014.
National Journal
Stacy Kaper
Add to Briefcase
Stacy Kaper
March 27, 2014, 8:44 a.m.

The House and Sen­ate al­most sim­ul­tan­eously passed dif­fer­ent but spir­itu­ally sim­il­ar Ukraine bills Thursday that would co­di­fy sanc­tions pun­ish­ing Rus­sia for its re­cent an­nex­a­tion of Crimea and pro­mote demo­cracy in Ukraine.

Both cham­bers ap­proved their bills by over­whelm­ing mar­gins, and a path for­ward on how to send le­gis­la­tion to the White House this week began to slowly emerge. Law­makers were ini­tially un­sure if they could re­con­cile the dif­fer­ent bills and send one to Pres­id­ent Obama to sign by the end of the week.

The House meas­ure passed 399-19 and sup­ple­ments an­oth­er bill the House passed earli­er this month that would provide $1 bil­lion in loan guar­an­tees to Ukraine.

The Sen­ate, mean­while, agreed on a 98-2 vote to strip its bill of con­tro­ver­sial re­forms to the In­ter­na­tion­al Mon­et­ary Fund that House Re­pub­lic­ans were ex­pec­ted to op­pose. Re­pub­lic­an Sens. Dean Heller and Rand Paul voted against ad­opt­ing the re­vised meas­ure. The Sen­ate bill passed by voice vote and com­bines $1 bil­lion in loan guar­an­tees to Ukraine with sanc­tions meant to pun­ish Rus­si­an Pres­id­ent Vladi­mir Putin.

The White House has lob­bied for the IMF re­forms, which it says could help the IMF boost its as­sist­ance to Ukraine. But the ad­min­is­tra­tion has also ar­gued that send­ing as­sist­ance to Ukraine is es­sen­tial and must hap­pen as soon as pos­sible — ideally be­fore the end of the month — with or without the IMF piece.

The House and Sen­ate agree on the policy points, but they still need to pass the same bill in or­der to get one to Pres­id­ent’s Obama desk and signed in­to law.

The House ad­journed Thursday without com­plet­ing the Ukraine le­gis­la­tion. But a House GOP aide said the cham­ber was still plan­ning to send a bill to the White House this week. It is ex­pec­ted to ap­prove the Sen­ate meas­ure on a voice vote, which could oc­cur even while the House is ad­journed, in a pro forma ses­sion, be­fore the week­end.

A Sen­ate Demo­crat­ic aide also said both cham­bers plan to still get le­gis­la­tion to Obama this week. But noth­ing is cer­tain, and the pos­sib­il­ity of ac­tion slip­ping un­til next week re­mains a dis­tinct pos­sib­il­ity. 

Sarah Mimms contributed to this article.
What We're Following See More »
INCLUDES DRUNK DRIVING, SELF-PRESCRIBING
Litany of Allegations Against VA Nominee Jackson
52 minutes ago
THE DETAILS

"A document compiled by the Democrats on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee lists a range of allegations detailed by what they say are 23 current and former colleagues by Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, President Donald Trump's pick to lead the Veterans Affairs Committee." They include "that he loosely handled medication, was intoxicated on the job and that he fostered a toxic work environment with 'abusive' behavior towards colleagues."

ALSO WORK REQUIREMENTS
Carson to Propose Rent Increases for Public Housing
4 hours ago
THE DETAILS
SAYS THERE’S NO “PLANET B”
Macron Tells Congress to Reject Nationalism
4 hours ago
THE LATEST
PER SOURCES
Trump to Visit UK In July
6 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"US President Donald Trump will visit the UK in mid-July, according to Sky sources," with a formal announcement expected soon. "Mr Trump was due to open the new US Embassy in London in February but cancelled the trip saying the building was too expensive and tweeting that he was not a 'big fan' of the decision to move its location."

Source:
TESTS WERE SUSPENDED LAST WEEK
North Korea Testing Site Collapsed
7 hours ago
THE LATEST

"North Korea’s underground nuclear test site has become unusable after a large part of it collapsed," say experts from the University of Science and Technology of China. "Their evidence comes just one week after a surprise announcement from leader Kim Jong Un that North Korea would stop nuclear tests." The finding contradicts the Trump Administration's claim that the closure was a major concession by North Korean leader Kim Jung Un, who is set to meet with him for talks with President Trump in May.

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login