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Mar 10, 2014

U.S. Senate preparing Ukraine bill with sanctions, loan guarantees -aides

WASHINGTON, March 10 (Reuters) – U.S. senators are preparing
a bill to address the crisis in Ukraine that includes sanctions
and aid provisions, as well as backing for loan guarantees,
Senate aides said on Monday.

However, members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
were still undecided on whether to include a shift in funding
for the International Monetary Fund that has been urged by the
Obama administration, the aides said.

Mar 7, 2014

U.S. Senate rejects a bid to overhaul how military handles sexual assault

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate voted down a bill on Thursday seeking to overhaul the way the U.S. military handles cases of sexual assault by giving authority to prosecute sexual assault cases to an independent military prosecutor instead of top commanders.

The bill, sponsored by New York Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand only got 55 of the 60 votes it would have needed to go ahead under Senate rules. The vote was 55-45, with 23 senators crossing party lines.

Mar 7, 2014

In U.S. strategy on Ukraine, a whiff of Kennan’s ‘containment’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns on Thursday laid out a strategy of patiently trying to counter Russia, including its intervention in Ukraine, reminiscent of legendary American diplomat George Kennan’s concept of “containment.”

Testifying before Congress, Burns suggested that Russia’s seizure of the Ukrainian region of Crimea reflected Moscow’s weakness, not its strength, and that a resolution, if one is possible, will take time.

Mar 6, 2014

U.S. Congress steps into action on Ukraine

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.

Mar 6, 2014

U.S. mulls how to use natgas resources in Ukraine crisis: top official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – There are discussions going on at high levels within the U.S. government on how to use U.S. natural gas resources as the country addresses the crisis in Ukraine, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns said on Thursday.

U.S. Senator Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican, asked Burns if “it would be fair to say” there are active discussions at such levels about how to use natural gas to ease European reluctance to enact sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, and to help Ukraine.

Mar 6, 2014

U.S. Senate rejects bid to change how military handles sexual assault

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted down a bid to overhaul the way the U.S. military handles cases of sexual assault by removing prosecution from the military chain of command.

Senators voted by 55-45 on a motion to proceed with a bill, sponsored by New York Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, that would have removed the power to decide whether to try sexual assault cases from the military chain of command and put it into the hands of an independent military prosecutor.

Mar 5, 2014

U.S. lawmakers divided on Russia sanctions, eye vote on Ukraine aid

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 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.

    • 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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