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Senate, House pass Ukraine support bills

Both the House and Senate bills include about $1 billion in guaranteed loans to Ukraine, plus economic sanctions intended to send a strong signal to Russia.
By Gabrielle Levy Follow @gabbilevy Contact the Author   |   March 27, 2014 at 1:13 PM
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WASHINGTON, March 27 (UPI) -- Both houses of Congress passed measures to send aid to Ukraine and impose sanctions on Russia Thursday afternoon, with the goal of sending a final bill to the president's desk by the end of the day.

The House of Representatives passed its version of the legislation by a vote of 399 to 19, while the Senate first passed an amendment to remove language reforming the International Monetary Fund before passing the full measure by voice vote.

While differences remain between the House and Senate bills, they are minor and talks are ongoing Thursday for how to reconcile the two before sending the measure to President Obama for signature.

Each bill provides $1 billion in guaranteed loans to Ukraine, as well as economic sanctions, including freezing assets and banning visas for officials, meant to send a strong signal to Russia's President Putin.

It’s a reality check the Senate will not stand idly by while Russia plays the role of a schoolyard bully,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. “It seems President Putin does not understand the way the world works today.”

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