Tuesday 12 December 2017

US Senate panel will not vote on Ukraine bill

Barack Obama
Barack Obama

A US Senate panel will not vote on a bill to address the crisis in Ukraine, an aide to the committee said, as members have been unable to agree on what should be in the legislation.

There was no immediate word on when the vote may take place and the delay raised the possibility that the committee would not be able to vote on the legislation before breaking for a week-long recess.

Leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee had hoped to vote on a bill to address the crisis in Ukraine, which aides said on Monday would include sanctions as well as aid and the backing for loan guarantees.

The committee must approve the legislation before it can be sent for a vote by the full Senate.

However, members of the committee have not been able to agree on whether to include a shift in funding for the International Monetary Fund that has been urged by the Obama administration, the aides said.

The Obama administration has been pushing Congress for about a year to approve a shift of some $63 billion from an IMF crisis fund to its general accounts in order to maintain Washington's influence at the global lender, and to make good on an international commitment made in 2010.

The U.S. House of Representatives last week passed a bill backing $1 billion in loan guarantees for Ukraine.

The Senate legislation is expected to be broader than the House package.


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