Cruz, GOP Senators, Object to IMF Expansion in Ukraine Aid Package
WASHINGTON, DC -- Four Republican senators joined U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in sending a letter to Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid providing notification they will support an objection to the Ukrainian aid package unless a vote is held to strip out language regarding International Monetary Fund changes.
By insisting on these unnecessary IMF provisions, Senate Democrats are trying to force us to choose between reasserting American leadership in this critical region by helping our ally Ukraine, and re-imposing some fiscal discipline here at home. This false choice has been the order of business in Washington for too long, and we need to put a stop to it by passing legislation similar to what was introduced in the House Friday, only assistance for Ukraine and sanctions for Russia.
The letter says:
We are deeply concerned that the Ukraine aid legislation reported by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee contains "reform" provisions that would unnecessarily double the United States contribution to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), part of the largest proportional increase ever, yet ultimately undermine our influence in that body in a manner that provides no actual relief to Ukraine.
As we understand it, this reform would double the funds the IMF can loan, involving a doubling of the United States’ contribution from its current level of $63 billion, while simultaneously reducing U.S. influence over how these funds are directed—and increasing that of Russia. Regardless of the magnitude of this change, this idea is antithetical to the driving purpose of the underlying legislation.
Most importantly, change at the IMF has no direct relevance to the issue at hand, which is assisting the nation of Ukraine as it tries to rebuild its fragile economy in a way that will enable it to become a partner to the free economies of the U.S. and Europe. The IMF is already perfectly capable of managing the task at hand, as estimates have shown that Ukraine aid would consume no more than 5% of its current resources.
While we are all eager to assist Ukraine on its path to freedom and prosperity, injecting IMF governance issues into this debate—and undermining U.S. influence on the IMF—is not the way to accomplish this end.
Sen. Cruz’s letter was signed by Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyoming, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, and Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas.
The text of the House bill is here.
This week, Sen. Cruz released a statement decrying Putin’s annexation of Crimea, which violates the territorial integrity of Ukraine and robs the free people of Ukraine from what is rightfully theirs. Sen. Cruz also delivered a speech on the Senate floor outlining his concerns about including expanded IMF funding in an aid package for Ukraine.