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)

Latest Headlines

in Local

New Campground Opens at Maine’s Acadia National Park

GENERIC ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

Federal officials and conservationists celebrated the opening of a new campground at Acadia National Park.

in Local

4 Groups Apply for Last 3 Charter School Slots in Maine

school

Four groups have applied for the last three charter school slots in Maine.

in Local

Police: Facebook Page Threatens to Post Nude Photos of Girls

GENERIC LAPTOP LARGE

A Maine police department is trying to get Facebook to take down a page that's threatening to post nude photos of underage girls, including students at Messalonskee High School.

in Local

Tired of Burglaries, Man Buys Gun, Shoots Would-be Thief

WGAN IMAGE

A retired Maine lobsterman told a friend over the weekend he was fed up with having his apartment burglarized and bought a gun to defend himself against would-be thieves.

in Local

Police: Man Crashed on I-295, Inhaled Keyboard Cleaner

WGAN IMAGE

Police say a Maine man was arrested after he crashed his SUV into a guardrail and inhaled computer keyboard cleaner in front of an officer.

Tweets

  • 13h
  • 18h
  • 18h
  • 19h
  • 20h
  • 23h
  • 23h