CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Thursday, March 6, 2014, the House will consider H.R. 4152, a bill to provide for the costs of loan guarantees for Ukraine, under a suspension of the rules. The bill was introduced on March 5, 2014 by Representative Hal Rogers, Chairman, House Committee on Appropriations.
H.R. 4152 modifies appropriations law to allow Ukraine to be eligible for U.S.- backed loan guarantees.
On February 22, 2014 former President Viktor Yanukovich fled Kiev as a result of protracted conflicts between antigovernment protestors and Ukrainian security forces in which up to 100 people were killed. The origins of the conflicts can be traced to the former President’s decision to suspend the finalization of an EU trade deal in favor of economic support from Russia. An interim government is in place until elections are held in May 2014.
Subsequent to former President Viktor Yanukovich’s departure, ethnic Russian nationalists seized control of the Crimean parliament building on February 27, 2014. Moreover, western Russian military forces have entered into the Crimea peninsula. Thus, Ukraine’s stability is tenuous at best. While challenging, the events provide the United States and its allies with an opportunity to support this nascent government. In particular, eliminating Russia’s leverage through energy assistance and loan guarantees are immediate ways to demonstrate support.
According to the Foreign Affairs Committee, loan guarantees are a cost-effective way to leverage the United States’ assistance to a country. Loan guarantees simply consist of guarantees for the repayment of part or all of the principal and interest of a country’s sovereign borrowing. The United States’ guarantee reduces the riskiness of the underlying asset. The loan guarantee to Ukraine would be packaged with significant technical assistance focusing on four key areas: implementing critical economic reforms and mitigating their impact on vulnerable Ukrainians; conducting free, fair and inclusive elections, including the media and independent civil society; combating corruption and recovering stolen assets; and withstanding politically motivated trade actions by Russia.
CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 4152 will result in no new budget authority.
For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.