(Adds details, background)
By Patricia Zengerle
WASHINGTON, March 20 The U.S. House of
Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee will introduce a bill
on Friday that provides aid to Ukraine but will not include
reforms of the International Monetary Fund requested by the
Obama administration and contained in the Senate version,
congressional aides said on Thursday.
The bill includes many of the provisions included in a bill
passed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but has key
differences including the absence of the IMF reforms, a
congressional aide told Reuters. He requested anonymity because
he was not authorized to discuss the pending legislation
The House panel's move means that the aid measure, if passed
by the full Senate and House, would have to go to a conference
committee that would reconcile the two versions before
legislation could be passed and sent for President Barack Obama
to sign into law.
The Obama administration has been pushing Congress for a
year to approve a shift of $63 billion from an IMF crisis fund
to its general accounts to make good on a commitment from 2010
and maintain U.S. influence at the international lender.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee included the shift in
a Ukraine bill that was passed - with support from Democrats and
Republicans - by the panel early this month.
That legislation included backing for $1 billion in loan
guarantees for Ukraine, sanctions against Russians and
Ukrainians, and economic aid for the new Kiev government, as
well as the IMF reforms.
But the measure did not come up for a vote in the full
Senate, where some Republicans said it should not include the
Some Republican lawmakers complain that the IMF changes
would cost too much and reduce American influence at the
international organization. Backers said they expected the bill
would pass the Senate, where Democrats control 55 of the seats.
At least a handful of Republicans have come out in support of
Influential House Republicans, including Speaker John
Boehner, had said they did not think U.S. Ukraine legislation
should address a divisive issue like the IMF changes, indicating
a bill including them would face a difficult road to passage in
the Republican-controlled chamber. The House previously passed a
Ukraine bill including only the $1 billion loan guarantees.
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Peter Cooney)