Mar 25 2014
Washington, DC – Senators Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Ted Cruz of Texas, James Inhofe of Oklahoma, David Vitter of Louisiana, Jeff Sessions of Alabama, John Cornyn of Texas, John Barrasso of Wyoming and Mike Lee of Utah introduced an amendment to the Ukraine aid package, S.2124, on Tuesday to make passage of the aid swifter and likelier.
The amendment removes a divisive proposal on quotas and voting power at the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Those changes, promoted by the Obama administration, are not needed for the IMF to provide aid to Ukraine. The international body already has an ample set of tools at its disposal, as its aid packages to Greece, Portugal and Ireland have previously shown.
The amendment removes those IMF changes so they may be given a full debate on their own.
The sponsors made these remarks about the amendment:
Senator Johnson said, “It is crucial that we speak with one voice in our support for Ukraine. By adding the IMF issue to this debate, the administration is choosing to divide Congress, weakening our unified front and delaying this urgent help. I support a clean aid package. The IMF changes are not necessary to passing an aid bill and should be debated on their own merits separately.”
Senator Vitter said, “Making these broad changes to the International Monetary Fund simply takes money from critical Department of Defense programs. For example, bases across the country could lose even more vital resources if the Administration has its way on the IMF.”
“IMF has all of the authority it needs to meet all of Ukraine's borrowing needs with its existing commitments from the global community,” said Senator Inhofe. “It does not make sense to double the size of the IMF by ratifying a 2010 agreement and pay for it with money that can be used at the DOD to address significant readiness shortfalls. Furthermore, this reform would dilute the U.S. voting percentage and increase our financial commitment to IMF, while increasing Russia's voting percentage at IMF. I urge President Obama and Majority Leader Reid to take up our amendment and allow us to pass a serious aid package through Congress.”
Senator Lee said, “The administration and Senate Democrats are invoking the ‘never let a crisis go to waste’ policy by attaching IMF reforms to the Ukraine legislation. Not only are the reforms unnecessary to addressing the current crisis, but they would increase Russian voting power at the IMF while decreasing U.S. and Ukrainian influence. In choosing to pick this fight with Congress, the administration is signaling to President Putin a real lack of seriousness in actually addressing the Russian government's conduct.”