Leading senators of both parties say they will soon push legislation letting President Barack Obama confiscate up to $10 billion in seized Libyan government assets and use it for humanitarian aid in that war-torn country.
None of the money could be used to supply Libyan rebels with weapons or military equipment.
The bill comes four months into the rebel effort to oust Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. The U.S. has frozen more than $30 billion in Gadhafi regime assets, and opposition leaders have appealed repeatedly for financial help.
The legislation was announced by South Dakota Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson and Alabama GOP Sen. Richard Shelby, leaders of the Senate Banking Committee. It is co-sponsored by leading lawmakers from the Senate Foreign Relations, Armed Services and Homeland Security panels.