Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
March 1, 2015

McConnell: Ukraine Aid Bill Won’t Pass House Without Changes

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., urged Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to allow amendments to a Ukrainian aid package in order to secure its passage through the House.

“Look: this bill cannot pass the House or become law in its current form—it must be amended,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.

Some Senate Republicans object to a provision in the Senate bill that would approve an overhaul of the structure of the International Monetary Fund, which they argue would end up costing taxpayers.

The Republican-run House left the provision out of Ukraine aid bills they have drafted despite a request from the White House that it be included.

McConnell wants Reid to allow amendments to the measure in order to address the issue.

But Democrats may not be inclined to offer amendments to Republicans given that they appear to have the 60 votes needed to pass the bill. The measure cleared a procedural vote 78 to 17 Monday evening.

“In order for it to become law, the controversial IMF provision must be removed,” McConnell continued. “This simply cannot be a take-or-leave-it situation. That’s just nonsensical.”

“That means allowing a sensible amendment process,” McConnell said. “And it means dropping the kind of wild partisan accusations we’ve seen – attacks that will only make it that much harder to get to an effective, bipartisan solution.”

A bipartisan House bill would strip the IMF provisions from the Senate bill.

But Reid has been attacking Republicans over a push they made earlier this month to allow the IMF language in exchange for including a provision blocking the Internal Revenue Service from imposing new restrictions on the political activities of groups such as Americans for Prosperity, which is backed by the Koch brothers.

Reid and Democratic leaders have said that they want to hold more amendment votes this year and could be amenable to some votes. But Democrats don’t want delays in passing the bill, either.

Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., on the Senate floor Monday invited those with amendments make them known to leaders.

“If the other side or any senator has a proposal for an amendment I hope they won’t keep it to themselves,” he said. “Let’s talk about it, let’s see if we can amend this measure, change this measure in a constructive fashion without introducing a lot of amendments that might bog us down in long-term debate. The Ukrainians are waiting to hear from the United States.”

Possible amendments to the bill include a proposal from Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, that would strike the IMF provision, and a plan from Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., who wants to offer a proposal expediting liquid natural gas exports.

Durbin urged caution on new gas exports.

“It is a newfound treasure and its one that we ought to be careful and measure carefully. Some say we have plenty…others say take care, make certain that we make the decision that is best for America,” Durbin said. “Should we debate that and decide that in a matter of minutes or hours on the floor of the Senate this week of take the time to look at it carefully? I think the latter.”

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., have co-sponsored an amendment that would create a law enforcement partnership between the United States and Ukraine to combat cyber-crime.


  • Creed Pogue

    The House left without doing anything. All that happens is indulging the people throwing a constant temper tantrum.

    • Anna Ketley Becker

      Correct–then Bonehead passes out the alcohol for all Republican plutocrats ONLY in federal congressional House. Coupled with the measured literacy rate of 4th. grade, these House Repub millionaires ARE a complete disgrace to our nation!!

      • BearNJ

        Educate yourself. McConnell is a fraud he sided with Reid then talks tough after it passes. The democrats added a provision to double our contribution to the IMF while weakening our power to have say over how the money is used. That’s good for the USA? McConnell should have blocked the bill. Wake up.

      • Lucian

        The simple fact that you STILL blindly believe in the democrats proves that you’re a raving lunatic.

      • Layla

        You are a propaganda spewing pig, and none of it correct.

      • SuperBeeee

        Literacy——-sponsored by the Party of Nancy Pelosi-Mao. “You’ll find out what’s in the Bill after we’ve passed the bill”. Alcohol—-sponsored by the Party of Ted ” The Swimmer” Kennedy. Annie baby, you’re being satirical, right? I mean, nobody could be as stupid as you, right?

  • Bob Frapples


    • Layla

      We ARE the term limits. VOTE.

    • jbowen43

      term limits only serve to put congressional staff and lobbyists in control. you don’t like your representation then vote them out.

      • ordinary american

        I now trust congressional staff, lobbyists and use car salesman more than any Senator, Representative, Supreme Court Justice and President.

  • TaurusNebula

    Durbin is a hypocritical jerk…he doesn’t want to export our abundance of natural gas to the Ukraine strengthen its hand against its total dependence on Russia’s supplying their energy source, his argument being that the Senate needs significant time to explore and debate the proposal so as to do what is best for America, yet he had no problem in helping to ram Obamacare through without consultation nor debate from the opposition?

  • Anna Ketley Becker

    Its evident that this legislation needs to pass and that President Obama needs the restructuring of the IMF in order to keep us safe and supporting the Ukraine. Repubs DO WANT outright war and ‘boots on the ground’ though so are being highly dysfunctional and non-negotiable in the face of U.S. security!! The greatest threats to our nation IS the Republican Party!!

    • Lucian

      Being that stupid should be a felony.

      • Carabella1

        And… yet… she’s correct.

    • noprisoners49

      Barry is stuck on full-destruct mode and you’re still blaming non-RINO Republicans? You can’t see how everything this POTUS and his cronies have done to America simply lines someone else’s pockets with our tax dollars while at the same time completely disarming us?

  • ordinary american

    Time to retire McConnell. He needs to be put our to pasture with all the other broken down nags in Ky. Please people of Kentucky do everyone a big favor. Primary out this POS. He has hurt KY and the rest of the US.

    • wallypalo

      An Article V convention will offer a Term Limits amendment for US Senators and Congressmen (& maybe Supreme Court justices!).

      • ordinary american

        I was originally against Term Limits back a few years ago. Now I am all in for Term Limits as well as post birth abortions.

  • sharon

    “Ditch Mitch”

  • ComradeChaos

    …explain to me how the US can afford to dole out millions / billions to Ukraine while being $17 trillion in debt?

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