WASHINGTON – The Senate Foreign Relations Committee Wednesday approved legislation that would impose sanctions on Russia for its intervention in Ukraine.

The Senate bill would also provide a $1 billion loan to Ukraine and reform the U.S. participation in the International Monetary Fund, despite Republican opposition.

The package was voted out of committee and sent to the full Senate by a 14-3 margin.

This is the first action by the legislative branch to discipline Russia. On  March 6 President Barack Obama called for financial sanctions on certain Russian corporations taking advantage of the troubled Ukrainian economy. His executive order allows Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew to freeze Russian assets.

The Senate bill would freeze Russian assets in the United States and target corruption. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., proposed an amendment to the bill that would grant the president the discretion  to impose sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin. McCain’s amendment was approved.

“This bill has serious sanctions on individuals at multiple levels, in fact sanctions we have never put in place before,” said Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, the committee’s top Republican. “This is a very, very strong bill….this will be a little more difficult on our side of the aisle.”

For instance, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., expressed concern about the loan to Ukraine and the International Monetary Fund reforms. He claimed Russia would profit from the loan because Ukraine owes a financial debt to Moscow.  He also said IMF reforms would grant more economic power to Russia.

“I would say it’s a gift maybe and not really a loan,” Paul said. “I think maybe sometimes restructuring your debt might be a good idea, particularly debts to the Russians. Some people will profit from this. Countries that we are not particularly happy with will profit from this. When you give money to Ukraine, you give it to Russia.”

Johnson also proposed an amendment to toss out the IMF provision giving the U.S. more flexibility to shift funds in its IMF accounts.  But the Johnson amendment failed and the IMF language remained in the bill.

But not all committee Republicans expressed opposition to the IMF and loan provisions. For instance, Corker and McCain said it was in the U.S. interest to help stabilize the Ukrainian economy through the IMF.

“It’s a signal that this congress and this president are willing to assist them at a time when they need it,” McCain said.  “If we adopted the amendment it would send the opposite signal. The worst thing we can do right now is to say that we are not going to assist you.”

Barrasso proposed an unsuccessful amendment to the measure that would have encouraged Ukraine to purchase natural gas from the U.S. instead of Russia.

“The message we are sending right now is we are actually more likely to protect Russia’s monopoly on energy and denying Ukraine the opportunity to be more energy independent from Russian sources,” said Barrasso, who is traveling to Ukraine on Thursday to meet with leaders.

New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, the committee chairman, said the amendment was not in the jurisdiction of the committee’s legislation. Other committee Democrats disagreed with Barrasso’s proposal because of its heavy long-term costs.