Conservative Watchdog to Senate: Beware of Ukraine Aid Bill

Monday, 24 Mar 2014 08:05 PM

By Jason Devaney

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Conservative watchdog Heritage Action says it will punish any senators who vote for a bill to aid Ukraine.

The threat is not so much about the Stability of Ukraine Act of 2014  as about reforms attached to the bill that are related to the International Monetary Fund. The IMF is not related to Russia's actions in Ukraine and Crimea, the latter of which is now part of Russia.

"Any attempt to conflate the two issues is politically motivated; indeed, the Obama administration is misleading the American people to make these so-called reforms appear urgent," Heritage Action writes on its website.  "Alarmingly, the proposed 'reforms' are not even in America’s best interest because they would reduce the power of the United States."

The IMF reforms included in the Ukraine bill, Heritage Action says, would give more voting power to Russia, China, India, Brazil, and others countries. Money in a crisis fund would be shifted, which could, the conservative group says, "expose U.S. taxpayers to billions of dollars in additional financial liability from morally hazardous IMF loans."

The reforms would also take away the power the United States has to appoint its own IMF representative without going through an election.

The Ukraine bill would provide aid in the form of money and guaranteed loans.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Monday that Republicans could be partly to blame for Russia's takeover of Crimea, a strategically situated peninsula on the Black Sea.

"Since a few Republicans blocked these important sanctions last work period, Russian lawmakers voted to annex Crimea and Russian forces have taken over Ukrainian military bases," Reid said. "It's impossible to know whether events would have unfolded differently if the United States had responded to Russian aggression with a strong, unified voice."

Reid said he hopes the Ukraine aid bill is passed.

On the other hand, some Republicans in Congress have called for the U.S. to send small arms and other military equipment  to Ukraine so the country can defend itself against Russia. Troops from Russia are stacked up at the border between the two countries.

"You can do non-combatant military aid in a way that allows them [the Ukrainians] to defend themselves," House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

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