Dems block Cruz’s Nord Stream 2 sanctions bill

Senate Democrats blocked Sen’s legislation on Thursday. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSinema dismisses hopes of reforming filibuster Holmes Norton: Cruz’s attempt to block DC student vaccine mandate ‘crosses the line’ The Hill’s Morning Report – Biden goes from bad to worse MORE (R-Texas) to impose sanctions on companies linked to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, a victory for the Biden administration, which believes such sanctions could harm relations with Germany.

While the ballot is still open, Cruz is poised not to get the 60 votes it takes to pass. Democratic Sen. Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinSenate postpones vote as DC is hit by snowstorm Without people, there is no preparedness Wisconsinites need infrastructure built to last MORE (Clear.), Catherine Cortez MastoCatherine Marie Cortez MastoVulnerable Senate Democrats see massive fundraisers in the last quarter of 2021 Treasury rolls out quarters with Maya Angelou, first black woman on the coin Eleven interesting races to watch in 2022 MORE (No.), Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanBiden’s FDA-nominated advances through key Senate committee Vulnerable Senate Democrats see massive fundraising in the last quarter of 2021 Top Republicans pressure Hogan to run for Senate MORE (NH), Mark KellyMark KellyVulnerable Senate Democrats see massive fund-raisers in last quarter of 2021 Biden to cringe with Senate Democrats as voting law on the brink of defeat Hawley introduces bill banning lawmakers from trading stock in office MORE (Ariz.), Jackie RosenJacklyn (Jacky) Sheryl Rosen Eleven interesting races to watch in 2022 First openly transgender Miss USA contestant eliminated for round of 16 Senators call for Smithsonian Latino, women’s museums to be built on National Mall MORE (Nev.) and Raphael WarnockRaphael WarnockDems worry they’ll be banned without changes to filibuster, voting rules Press Biden, Democrats to forgive student loans Republicans threaten floor takeover if Democrats weaken filibuster MORE (Ga.) joined every Republican to vote for the bill. Voting has been held open at 55-43, with majority leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden’s desperate pitch to retain minority voters Corporate executives urge Senate to bypass filibuster to pass voting rights Former colleagues honor Reid at Capitol ceremony MORE (DN.Y.) and Sen. Brian dearBrian Emanuel SchatzOvernight Energy & Environment — Manchin raises hopes for climate spending The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Snow day in DC Biden, lawmakers mourn Harry Reid MORE (D-Hawaii), who is isolating herself after testing positive for COVID-19, and remains as the only two senators not to vote.

The vote on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will transport gas from Russia to Germany, comes at a delicate time for the White House as it navigates renewed tensions with Moscow over troop build-up on the border with Ukraine.

Underlining the dilemma facing Democrats, many of whom previously voted for similar sanctions, the senators stressed that they are alarmed about Russia and the pipeline, but that Cruz’s legislation is not the most effective response.

“We cannot look at this legislation on its own. This legislation… comes at a time when the government is exhausting every diplomatic opportunity to stop Putin from further violating Ukraine’s territorial integrity,” Sen said. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne Shaheen Democrats race to crush Cruz’s Nord Stream 2 sanctions bill Democrats, Cruz ready to confront Russian pipeline President of Ukraine, US lawmakers huddle amid tensions with Russia MORE (DN.H.), adding that the pipeline is “leverage that the West can use at a crucial time.”

Are. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott Murphy Democrats Race to Crush Cruz’s Nord Stream 2 Sanctions Bill Every State’s Population Center, Visualized President of Ukraine, US Lawmakers Humble Amid Tensions With Russia MORE (D-Conn.) argued the bill would be a “gift” to the Russian president Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinSullivan says the threat of a Russian military invasion is ‘high’. Democracy is alive – and GOP wants to pull the plug Biden chief of defense expresses support for Ukraine in call MORE by separating the United States from Germany.

“We need to send a message to Vladimir Putin that the United States and Europe are together and that we will deliver a crushing package of sanctions if you go further into Ukraine,” he said.

Cruz’s law would require sanctions to be implemented within 15 days. In a red flag for Democrats, Congress could force a vote to reinstate sanctions if: President BidenJoe BidenGallego on Jan 6 rioters: ‘F—they’ Psaki: Why is the GOP afraid of presidential debates? Biden calls on employers to mandate vaccines despite Supreme Court ruling she renounced.

Biden waived sanctions against Nord Stream 2 AG, the Russia-based, Swiss-based company for the pipeline project, in May as part of an agreement published in July with Germany, which supports the pipeline.

Democrats and the Biden administration were working overtime to nullify Cruz’s efforts.

Victoria Nuland, the secretary of state for political affairs, briefed a group of potential senators this week as part of a meeting hosted by Democratic senators who oppose Cruz’s legislation. Secretary of State Antony BlinkAntony BlinkenBlinken: North Korea missile tests ‘deeply destabilizing’ ‘Havana syndrome’ suspected in attacks on US diplomats in Switzerland, France: Russia-led alliance report begins troop withdrawal from Kazakhstan MORE also briefed a bipartisan group on Ukraine, where senators hope to travel this weekend.

The German government had also urged members of Congress not to impose sanctions on the pipeline, arguing that doing so would harm Washington-Berlin relations.

Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) Menendez Overnight Defense & National Security — Differences persist between NATO, Russia Senate Democrats unveil draft sanctions law against Russia in Ukraine Democrats race to overturn Cruz’s Nord Stream 2 sanctions law MORE (DN.J.), backed by Schumer and the White House, also offered competing legislation, giving Democrats concerned about Ukraine an alternative bill to support.

That legislation would impose new sanctions on Russia if it invades Ukraine, even though the Ukrainian government had publicly urged senators to vote in favor of Cruz’s bill.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a tweet that Ukraine is “asking all its friends in the US Senate to vote for S. 3436.”

Cruz argued that Democrats were faced with a decision between backing the Biden administration despite their previous support for sanctions, or helping to crack down on a pipeline that has sparked a bipartisan backlash with Russia at a pivotal time.

Speaking on the floor, he argued that his bill was the “best way to stop Putin from invading Ukraine” and that without it “Ukraine risks being wiped off the map”.

“The eyes of history are on us today. Each of us will be faced with a weighty question: can we put aside minor disagreements and come together to defend our friend and our ally Ukraine against imminent Russian aggression?” asked Cruz.

The vote on the pipeline comes after the Biden administration held three separate meetings with Russian officials in Europe this week to offset a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine and the outbreak of war.

Russia has gathered more than 100,000 troops on its border with Ukraine in what it calls a military exercise. Moscow has said it views Ukraine’s closer ties to the West and a desire to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as a threat to its security.

Russia invaded and annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula in 2014 and supported separatists against Kiev in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region.

Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, who led the US delegation to the three meetings, emphasized unity among allies to respond to increased Russian aggression with financial sanctions, defensive military aid to Ukraine and increased fighting force in Europe.

She reiterated Blinken’s previous statements that Nord Stream 2, which is not yet operational, offers an opportunity for Europe to put pressure on Russia.

“The pipeline is currently not operational. The German Federal Network Agency has suspended the certification. And Minister Blinken has said… ‘From our perspective it is very difficult to see gas flowing’ [the] pipeline so it can become operational if Russia renews its aggression against Ukraine.”

Berlin addressed US opposition to the pipeline and concerns over Russia’s control and agreed to impose charges on Moscow if it discovers the Kremlin is holding energy hostage to threaten Europe or taking aggressive actions against Ukraine.

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