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Sen. Cruz: Senate Democrats Hold Ukraine Aid Hostage to Politics

IMF Reforms Could Double U.S. Taxpayer Contribution to IMF and Diminish U.S. Influence

March 13, 2014

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(202) 228-7561

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, today spoke on the Senate floor in opposition to Sen. Reid’s measure to inject unnecessary provisions to the International Monetary Fund into a U.S. aid package to Ukraine.

“The world, Russia and the people of Ukraine should understand – Mr. Putin should understand – that all of us are united in standing with the people of Ukraine, that the United States will act,” Sen. Cruz said. “I am convinced we will act decisively to impose sanctions and serious consequences on Russia for their unprovoked act of war. We will act decisively to stand with the people of Ukraine. There should be no doubt in any observer's mind that this will unify both parties, we will stand together. We would have done so tonight had the Majority Leader not made the cynical decision to hold Ukraine aid hostage to politics. Politics should end at the water's edge, and I think it's unfortunate to see the Majority Leader trying to use the crisis in Ukraine for political advantage. That's the mistake, but there should be no ambiguity. We will impose sanctions. We will stand with Ukraine.”

Sen. Cruz highlighted four main reasons that the IMF provisions contained in the Ukraine aid package are harmful to the U.S. and misguided:

  • They are unnecessary. Estimates show that Ukrainian aid would cost no more than 5 percent of IMF’s current resources, which it is completely capable of handling without increased contribution from the U.S.
  • It could double the U.S.’s contribution to the IMF. We should not be opening up U.S. taxpayers to billions in additional financial liability.
  • It would diminish U.S. influence in the IMF, reducing our ability to control the IMF’s decisions and taking away the U.S.’s veto authority over the funds.
  • Most astoundingly, it would increase Russia’s control over the IMF, at a time when we are seeking to punish Russia for its act of war and aggression.

In his remarks, Sen. Cruz also outlined four immediate actions that the U.S. should take to respond to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine:

  • Press to expel Russia from the G8;
  • Immediately enforce the Magnitsky Act (which the Administration has so far failed to do) to punish human rights violators by Russian officials and expand the act to include Ukrainian human rights abusers;
  • Immediately reinstall the anti-ballistic missile program (cancelled under President Obama in an unsuccessful effort to appease Mr. Putin) so that Eastern Europe can defend itself;
  • Offer the government of Ukraine a free trade agreement, particularly access to energy exports, including liquid natural gas (LNG), which will help free Ukraine from economic blackmail by Russia.

In regard to creating a free trade agreement with Ukraine, Sen. Cruz said, “We should move immediately to give Ukraine access to U.S. energy exports, particularly liquid natural gas, not just because it would help Ukraine and represent a serious blow to Russia, but because it makes perfect sense from the perspective of the United States. At a time when we've got the lowest labor rate participation since 1978, when millions of people are out of work and hurting, we should be developing and expanding our resources, and energy provides an opportunity to transform the geopolitical playing field, to use our abundant resources in a free market manner to free and liberate the people of Ukraine.”

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