"I feel very strongly about IMF reform, we need to get that done and we need to get it done just as quickly as we can," Reid told reporters Tuesday afternoon. "But this [aid] bill is important. As [Secretary of State] John Kerry said yesterday, he wants both of them, but the main thing is to get the aid now, and I'm following his lead."
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) had earlier blamed the decision to drop the IMF provisions on the GOP-controlled House.
"The House Republican leadership has made very clear, come hell or high water, regardless of the importance of the IMF to the Ukraine and future emergencies, that their politics doesn't permit to have the national security interests of the United States superseded," he told reporters.
The bill will contain $1 billion in loan guarantees as well as $150 million in economic assistance. It will impose sanctions on Russia, freeze assets of certain Russian individuals as well as impose visa bans on them. The House bill also contains the loan guarantees. Speaker John Boehner refused to consider the IMF provisions, forcing Reid and the White House to relent.
The Senate will continue to debate the bill Tuesday, with a vote on final passage expected before Friday.