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Ukraine-Russia Update

-- House Republicans urge Senate to delete IMF provisions from Ukraine aid bill. House Republicans are stressing senators to limit their Ukraine bill to loan guarantees, as disputes accelerated over a restructuring of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) threaten to delay passage before next week’s recess. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee Wednesday afternoon approved draft legislation by a vote of 14-3 that would go beyond the House-passed loan guarantee bill (HR 4152), including approval of a restructuring of the lender that President Barack Obama has requested and that many Republicans oppose. “This IMF money isn’t necessary for dealing with this Ukraine crisis,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). “So I think what the Senate ought to do is take up the House-passed loan guarantee package and they could move it today. Beyond that, we’ll see what the Senate actually does.” House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) said “this is no time to attach riders to something this important,” and said he hoped Secretary of State John Kerry would convince senators of the “wisdom of sending a clean bill back over to us.” House Armed Services Chairman Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., said he opposed the IMF restructuring because the cost of paying for it would come, in part, from Department of Defense programs. Kerry sided with the president and Menendez on the need for the IMF overhaul. “It is only through the IMF, a reformed IMF, that Ukraine is going to receive the additional help it needs to stand on its own two feet,” Kerry said.

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