Congress backs bill to help cash-strapped Ukraine

WASHINGTON (AP) - Congress is close to sending President Barack Obama a bill to provide $1 billion in loan guarantees to cash-strapped Ukraine and give the administration broad authority to levy more sanctions on Russia for its annexation of Crimea.

In solidarity with the White House, Congress on Thursday overwhelmingly backed legislation in the House and Senate that denounced Russian President Vladimir Putin's military incursion into the Ukrainian Peninsula.

On a voice vote, the Senate approved its version of the legislation. The House endorsed a different version on a 399-19 vote and is poised to pass the Senate version on Friday, the final step needed to send the bill to Obama.

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