Inhofe Praises Senate Passage of Ukraine Aid Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), today praised the Senate's passage of an aid package for Ukraine that includes $1 billion in loan guarantees and $150 million in monetary aid. The bill provides critical support to Ukraine and concedes to conservative demands that the legislation 1) not reallocate money from the Department of Defense (DOD) to pay for the aid, and 2) not include language reforming the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as had been first insisted upon by the Obama Administration.       

“The recent aggression by Russia towards Ukraine is another reminder that the tide of war is not receding," said Inhofe. "This bill is a critical first step towards providing necessary support to Ukraine and sending a signal condemning Russia. Conservatives gained a victory today when language in the original package was removed that would have both unnecessarily increased U.S. contributions to the IMF and increased risk to our men and women in uniform by cutting $157 million from the Department of Defense to pay for non-defense costs.  As we continue to stand with Ukraine, I urge my colleagues in the Senate to come together in the same bipartisan spirit to expedite  U.S. natural gas exports to the region. This will help provide long-term stability to Ukraine and Eastern Europe by reducing dependence upon Russian energy.” 

On Monday, Inhofe introduced in the Senate an amendment to S. 2124, the Support for the Sovereignty, Integrity, Democracy, and Economic Stability of Ukraine Act of 2014, that would strike the proposed $157 million of defense rescissions to pay for the aid package. The $157 million has already been reserved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as well as the DOD to build the current defense budget, and Inhofe's position is that subtracting these funds would risk further degradation of military readiness.

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