News / USA

US Congress Approves Ukraine Aid; Final Action Pending

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. Robert Menendez and the committee's ranking member, Sen. Bob Corker hold a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 27, 2014, after the Senate passed the Ukraine Aid Bill.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. Robert Menendez and the committee's ranking member, Sen. Bob Corker hold a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 27, 2014, after the Senate passed the Ukraine Aid Bill.
Michael Bowman
The U.S. Congress has spoken loudly to condemn Russia’s annexation of Crimea and underscore America’s support for Ukraine. The House and Senate on Thursday passed similar bills providing aid to Ukraine and sanctioning Russia. Final congressional approval could come on Friday.

America’s politically divided legislature rarely acts in concert or speaks so clearly as lawmakers did in passing separate bills with loan guarantees for Ukraine and economic penalties against Russia.

Democratic Representative Eliot Engel said the United States stands firmly with the people of Ukraine after Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
 
“You know, if we continue to work with Ukraine and continue to help Ukraine and turn them westward rather than eastward, then [Russian President Vladmir] Putin will have lost.  He may have a land grab in Crimea, but he will lose the rest of Ukraine,” said Engel.

That sentiment was echoed on the Senate side by Majority Leader Harry Reid, who said Russian President Vladimir Putin is stuck in the mind-set of the bygone Soviet era.

“This bill is a reality check to him that the United States will not stand idly by while Russia plays the role of a schoolyard bully,” said Reid.

Floor debate in both chambers featured some of the fiercest rhetoric aimed at Russia since the Cold War. Republican Senator John McCain said Moscow’s justification for annexing Crimea sounds “eerily familiar” to Nazi Germany’s pretexts for territorial expansion to protect German-speaking populations in Eastern Europe in the late 1930s.

“I am not predicting we will have a World War III. I am predicting that, unless we act and act vigorously, Vladimir Putin will be dramatically encouraged to take further aggressive actions, whether it be in eastern Ukraine, Moldova, the Baltic countries,” said McCain.

The two bills passed their respective chambers with overwhelming support. Both include $1 billion in loan guarantees to Ukraine and penalties against Russian officials. The House bill boosts funding for U.S. international broadcasting services to Eastern Europe, including the Voice of America.

The House and Senate must pass identical versions for a bill to clear Congress and go to the White House to be signed into law by President Barack Obama. Precisely how that might happen was unclear late Thursday, but leaders in both chambers have stated their commitment to see a final bill pass Congress by week’s end.

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
March 27, 2014 7:07 PM
If the US is unable to solve any of the major problem of Iran, Egypt, Syria, North Korea, Crimea, Chinese territorial claims in South China Sea, the easiest thing for US is to provide US dollars to the affected parties without solving the problem, with de-facto recognition of the parties that caused the problem.

by: Ken the Patriot from: NC
March 27, 2014 5:00 PM
So, Congress can't find any money to help 1.3 Million AMERICANS that are out of work, but they have plenty of money to help foreigners?

SHAMEFUL !

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs