Pelosi urges Congress to approve U.S. aid to Ukraine

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., meets with reporters at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that Congress should quickly approve new U.S. aid to Ukraine that includes long-sought reforms to the International Monetary Fund.

Pelosi said she supports a bipartisan Senate proposal that includes roughly $1 billion in loan guarantees to the new Ukrainian government, stiff sanctions against Russian officials and changes to the IMF that would move more than $60 billion in U.S. funding from an IMF crisis fund into a general account. The White House has sought the changes since 2010 as part of an agreement that supporters say would give the United States more influence over the world body.

Pelosi told reporters Thursday, “It is my hope that the Senate will pass what we've already passed in the House, comprehensive -- the bill for the billion-dollar loan guarantee to the Ukraine, but that it will also ...  include the IMF provisions.”

She said that the new Ukrainian prime minister told lawmakers during a visit to Washington last week that the IMF will play an important role in his country’s economic future and that he hoped “Congress would recognize that and pass that.”

“The House should act swiftly, too,” she said, adding that the assistance from the United States and IMF “is greatly needed by the people of the Ukraine.”

Ed O’Keefe is covering the 2016 presidential campaign, with a focus on Jeb Bush and other Republican candidates. He's covered presidential and congressional politics since 2008. Off the trail, he's covered Capitol Hill, federal agencies and the federal workforce, and spent a brief time covering the war in Iraq.

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