News

Congress steps into action on Ukraine

Congress steps into action on Ukraine

UKRAINE: Demonstrators call on the U.S. to take measures against Russia's recent actions in Ukraine, in front of the White House in Washington March 6. Photo: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

By Patricia Zengerle

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a bill backing $1 billion in loan guarantees for Ukraine, the first formal response by U.S. lawmakers to the worst crisis in U.S.-Russia relations since the Cold War.

The measure passed in a 385-23 vote.

The U.S. Senate is expected to consider a similar bill next week. If passed as expected, it would be sent to the White House for President Barack Obama to sign into law.

House and Senate committees held hearings on Thursday at which administration officials testified about the situation in Ukraine following Russia’s military incursion into its Crimea region.

Obama ordered sanctions on people responsible for Moscow’s military intervention on Thursday, including travel bans and freezing of their U.S. assets. But Republicans said he has not done enough and that what they called his weak foreign policy had emboldened Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Tennessee Senator Bob Corker, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the administration had made a mistake by “thinking that someone like Putin reacts to warmth and charm and reachout.”

“What he really reacts to is weakness and I think he has seen that in our foreign policy efforts over the course of this last year,” Corker continued.

Republican lawmakers – and many Democrats – in both houses of Congress urged Obama to do more.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee passed a symbolic resolution responding to Russia’s military incursion into Crimea. That measure condemns the violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty by Russia, while calling for sanctions on Russian officials and state agencies.

“This resolution is one part of a larger effort to provide assistance to Ukraine and to impose real costs on Russia for its actions, which this committee is working on,” U.S. Representative Ed Royce of California, the committee’s Republican chairman, said in a statement.

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Bill Trott)

Recent Headlines

in Sports

Aaron Rodgers and CBS reporter duke it out on Twitter

Fresh
aaronrodgers

Dennis Dodd was not happy that the Packers QB refused an interview request during Saturday night's game ... and he made sure everyone knew it.

in National

FBI: Shooting at NSA gate at Fort Meade not related to terrorism

Fresh
NSAshooting

Officials say two men tried to ram the gates of Fort Meade, where the National Security Agency is housed.

in National, Viral Videos

Girl, 4, boards bus for 3 a.m. snack run

Fresh
16-overlay3

Little Annabelle Ridgeway was determined to get a slushie.

in Sports

Hernandez fiancée to testify in murder trial

aaronhernandez

Shayanna Jenkins on Monday is expected to talk about a box she disposed of from their basement the day after Odin Lloyd was killed in 2013.

in Sports

PHOTOS: And then there were four

AP533233299419_4

March Madness started with a bracket busting 68 teams and now we're down to the Final Four.