Cruz Thanks Reid for Dropping IMF Changes From Ukraine Aid

Image: Cruz Thanks Reid for Dropping IMF Changes From Ukraine Aid

Tuesday, 25 Mar 2014 05:48 PM

By Greg Richter

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Republican Sen. Ted Cruz commended Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for "listening to reason" and dropping a provision in a Ukraine aid bill that would have restructured the IMF.

The International Monetary Fund provision had nothing to do with Ukraine, and shouldn't have been in the bill, the Texas senator said Tuesday on Fox News Channel's "Your World with Neil Cavuto."

Reid announced that the IMF provision was being dropped from the bill late Tuesday afternoon, The Wall Street Journal reported.

"We have to get IMF reform, but we can't hold up the other," Reid said. "As much as I think a majority of the Senate would like to have gotten that done with IMF in it, it was headed nowhere in the House."

Cruz told Cavuto that the Obama administration tried to use the bill as an excuse to "ram through changes to the IMF that they've been pushing for for years." The bill would have significantly increased the exposure of U.S. taxpayers, potentially billions of dollars, he said.

And, he added, it would have decreased America's influence at the IMF and increased Russia's at a time when Russia is being condemned on the world stage for taking over Crimea from Ukraine. Many also fear the former KGB official has plans to take over other former Soviet satellites.

But Cruz said he was happy with Reid for "listening to reason" and the views of the other side. Reid had accused Republicans of being partly responsible for Russia's invasion of Crimea because it had held up the aid package.

Cruz dismissed Reid's words as "just politics," and said he had no hard feelings. He did add, however, that President Obama could have signed an aid bill a week ago if Reid had accepted the House's version.

Some worry that any aid to Ukraine will end up in Russian hands because Ukraine owes Russia for oil and natural gas contracts. Cruz said that's why the most important aid to Ukraine would be for the United States to sign a free-trade agreement and help them put in place infrastructure to import liquid and natural gas.

Instead, he said, Obama has failed to approve more than 20 applications to export liquid natural gas.

Increases in exports of oil and natural gas could make the United States less dependent on Middle East countries while also giving it the ability to help places such as Ukraine and Venezuela, he said.

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