House members moving toward legislation for sending arms to Ukraine

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 09, 2015 1:48 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Democratic and Republican leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee are developing legislation to provide "defensive lethal assistance" for Ukraine, congressional aides said on Monday.

Representatives Mac Thornberry, the panel's Republican chairman, and Adam Smith, its top Democrat, are "far along in discussions" on a bill to provide such military aid, one aide said.

The U.S. Senate and House unanimously passed legislation in December that authorized sending arms for Kiev to help defend itself against a Russian-backed separatist movement. Obama signed the measure into law but it gave him leeway over whether or when to send arms and many lawmakers have been pressing for Washington to begin shipments.

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)