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Mar 5, 2014

U.S. lawmakers say to vote on Ukraine aid package soon

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In a rare show of support for President Barack Obama, Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives said on Wednesday they would work with the White House to address the crisis in Ukraine and vote on legislation offering financial aid soon.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said the Republican-led House will consider a $1 billion loan guarantee package for Ukraine and look at measures to “put significant pressure on Russia to stop the flagrant aggression to its neighbor in Ukraine.”

Mar 4, 2014

New Obama budget includes $1.5 billion for Syria and neighbors

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama proposed spending $1.5 billion next year for the Middle East and North Africa, largely to address the growing humanitarian crisis in Syria as Washington steps up efforts to deal with three-year-long civil war.

Besides funding for Syria, the $1.5 billion is intended to promote reforms and transitions in the Middle East and North Africa, still feeling the effects of the “Arab Spring” revolts of 2011.

Mar 4, 2014

U.S. lawmakers ready to act over Ukraine, but want Europe to step up

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers expressed support on Monday for aid for Ukraine’s new government, as well as sanctions to punish Russia for its military incursion into the neighboring country, but want European nations to step up their involvement in the crisis.

Senators are looking at options such as imposing sanctions on Russia’s banks and freezing assets of Russian public institutions and private investors, Senator Chris Murphy, chairman of the Senate’s Europe subcommittee, told Reuters.

Mar 3, 2014

U.S. sanctions on Russia over Ukraine would need Europe: senator

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers are considering options such as imposing sanctions on Russia’s banks, freezing assets of Russian public institutions and private investors and enacting travel bans because of its moves in Ukraine, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, the chairman of the Senate’s Europe subcommittee, said on Monday.

Murphy told Reuters in a telephone interview that U.S. sanctions against Russia will have little effect if they are not matched by actions from Europe.

Feb 27, 2014

U.S. senator says labor board should not ‘muzzle’ lawmakers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Tennessee Senator Bob Corker called on federal authorities on Thursday not to muzzle lawmakers who do not support union organizing as they consider the United Auto Workers’ appeal of a failed effort to represent workers at a Volkswagen plant in his state.

Saying Corker and other politicians interfered in the vote, the UAW filed an objection with the National Labor Relations Board to the result of the February 12-14 election, in which workers at VW’s Chattanooga, Tennessee, plant voted 712-625 to reject union representation.

Feb 26, 2014

U.S. defense officials report slow progress in sex assault battle

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. military’s system for handling sexual assault cases is so inadequate that an Army private had to turn to the Internet to decide what to do after she was raped, the victim testified at an emotional Senate hearing on Wednesday.

“I had to Google what to do when it happened to me,” Jessica Kenyon, a former Army private first class, testified at the hearing on links between military sexual assault, suicide and post-traumatic stress.

Feb 26, 2014

Senate’s Menendez happy in ‘bad cop’ role on Iran talks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senator Robert Menendez is happy to play the role of a U.S. “bad cop” on Iran. Just don’t call him a warmonger.

The Democratic chairman of the influential Senate Foreign Relations Committee upset the White House by leading the push for a bill that would tighten sanctions even further on Tehran, potentially putting at risk nuclear talks between world powers and the Islamic Republic.

Feb 25, 2014

U.S. lawmakers seek to revive stalled Iran sanctions bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican U.S. senators sought to revive a bill on Tuesday that would impose new sanctions on Iran despite President Barack Obama’s insistence that the measure would endanger delicate negotiations seeking to curb Tehran’s nuclear program.

Senator Mitch McConnell, the party’s leader in the Senate, told reporters Republicans wanted to include the sanctions package as an amendment to a bill expanding healthcare and education programs for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Feb 25, 2014

US Congress should reconsider Iraq helicopters after Iran report -McCain

WASHINGTON, Feb 25 (Reuters) – U.S. Senator John McCain said
on Tuesday a proposed agreement to sell 24 Apache attack
helicopters to Iraq should be reconsidered because of a Reuters
report that Iran has signed a deal to sell Iraq arms and
ammunition worth $195 million.

“The Apache sale has got to be on the table. We’ve got to
discuss it,” the Republican Arizona senator said when asked
about whether the arms sale would affect the plan to sell the
Boeing Co. helicopters to Iraq.

Feb 19, 2014

Exclusive: Moldovan, Georgian leaders to visit U.S. – congressional aides

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The leaders of Georgia and Moldova are due to visit Washington in the next two weeks, congressional aides said on Wednesday, in what appears to be an effort to show U.S. support for Russia’s neighbors amid the violent political crisis in Ukraine.

Congressional aides said that Georgian Prime Minister Irakly Garibashvili will be in Washington next week, and Moldovan Prime Minister Iurie Leanca will visit during the first week of March.

    • About Patricia

      "Patricia Zengerle covers foreign policy and national security on Capitol Hill for Reuters. She recently covered the 2012 campaign and the White House and had been an editor in Washington, D.C., an editor in London, and a correspondent in Miami, Pittsburgh and New York. You can follow her on Twitter @ReutersZengerle"
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