By Ramsey Cox
The Senate passed a bill Thursday that would spend money on pro-democracy broadcasting practices in Ukraine.
Earlier Thursday, the House and Senate passed different Ukraine aid packages. One of the differences was that the House bill included a section that would spend $10 million on Radio Free Europe and Voice of America programming to Ukraine and neighboring countries — language that wasn’t in the Senate bill.
The bill claims Russia has blocked Ukraine's access to uncensored news and has seized more than five television stations in Crimea to broadcast "propaganda" supporting Russia.
The bill language says funding other programming would "combat this anti-democratic propaganda" and calls for a constant stream of new programming into Ukraine in the various languages of the regions. It also calls for a report to Congress on the implementation of this plan 15 days after the language becomes law.
During a pro forma Friday, the House is expected to follow suit and accept the differences in the Ukraine bills, sending the legislation to President Obama for his signature.