Thursday: Ukraine bill hits the House

The House meets Thursday morning to consider two energy bills, and a new bill added to the agenda that would help Ukraine finance energy purchases in the face of a Russian military intervention that has the world on edge.

Members will consider H.R. 4152, which would use available funds to provide loan guarantees to Ukraine. Secretary of State John Kerry has said he expects the U.S. can make $1 billion of these guarantees available, which would help Ukraine finance energy purchases.

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The guarantees are meant to offset Russian energy subsidies that are being cut back, and to help foster Ukrainian independence from Russia. Several Republicans argued on Wednesday that supplying Ukraine with energy and financing is the best way to reduce that country's reliance on Russia.

The two other energy bills are much more focused on domestic energy issues. Members will finish work on H.R. 3826, the Electricity Security and Affordability Act, which would block Environmental Protection Agency rules on coal-fired electricity plants.

Eight amendments to that bill were debated Wednesday, and votes are needed on four of those.

The other energy bill is H.R. 2641, the Responsibly and Professionally Invigorating Development (RAPID) Act, which would put time limits on environmental impact reviews on energy construction projects.

After all votes on amendments and bills are done, the House is done for the week.

The Senate also returns, and will continue a series of votes on executive branch nominees.

In the late morning, senators will vote on Rose Gottemoeller to be undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, Suzanne Spaulding to be undersecretary of Homeland Security and John Roth to be inspector general at Homeland Security.

In the afternoon, the Senate will hold votes to end debate on two Democratic proposals addressing sexual assault in the military. The first will be on S. 1752, the Military Justice Improvement Act from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).

The other is S. 1917, the Victims Protection Act, from Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.). Each bill takes a different approach to curbing military assaults. If either bill gets 60 votes, the Senate will move immediately to try to pass it.