Democrats have dropped reforms to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from legislation to provide aid to Ukraine, clearing its way for Senate passage.
Senate Democratic leaders acceded to Republican objections over including IMF reforms as part of the Ukraine legislation. GOP leaders had griped that the IMF provisions were unrelated to Ukraine aid; Democrats countered by arguing the reforms would give the IMF greater flexibility to lend its own assistance to Ukraine.
Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., had considered dropping the provision earlier Tuesday; the standoff had stalled debate over Ukrainian assistance by two weeks. Reid suggested after party luncheons that he had come to agree with Secretary of State John Kerry that expediting the aid package was a top priority.
"I cannot believe House Republicans will not put national security interests above their partisan political interest," Sen. Robert Menendez, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said a short while later on the Senate floor. But Menendez also acknowledged moving forward a package with IMF reforms was untenable.
Reid said the Senate will vote on a revised Ukraine bill without the IMF language on Thursday.
The House has already passed its own legislation.