From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. The House and the Senate both voted overwhelmingly today for aid to Ukraine and sanctions for Russia's annexation of Crimea. The bipartisan response to the crisis follows weeks of partisan wrangling. Differences between the two bills still have to be ironed out. NPR's David Welna is at the Capitol.
The House and Senate approved $1 billion in loan guarantees for Ukraine and sanctions on Moscow for Russia's annexation of Crimea.
Thursday's voice vote in the Senate and a 399-19 vote in the House for a different version of the bill came just hours after the International Monetary Fund pledged $18 billion in assistance for the former Soviet satellite.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's "account of these events rings true" and he has "conducted himself at every turn as someone who has nothing to hide," according to an investigation — done at the request of the governor's office — of the George Washington Bridge scandal.
Following up on his acknowledgement in January that it's problematic to have the National Security Agency collecting and storing massive amounts of information about individuals' phone calls, President Obama announced Thursday that he has decided "the data should remain at the telephone companies."
Obama, who has seen his approval numbers decline since he took office in 2009, met for about 50 minutes with the pope, who has become one of the world's most popular leaders since becoming leader of the Roman Catholic Church a year ago.