Politics Senate votes down Cruz's bill to impose sanctions over Nord Stream pipeline
Ted Cruz Claims 'Multiple Grounds' for Joe Biden's Impeachment Under a GOP House
Cruz argued what he saw as Biden's inability to uphold immigration law would be a strong justification for impeachment in 2022.Cruz, along with Michael Knowles and Liz Wheeler, discussed former President Donald Trump's impeachment and the future of Biden's presidency during the show Verdict with Ted Cruz, on December 31, 2021.
The Senate on Thursday voted downof Texas to sanction entities associated with Russia's controversial
Needing 60 votes to pass, it failed 55-44. A handful of Democrats running for reelection voted with Republicans, including Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Mark Kelly of Arizona and Raphael Warnock of Georgia. Democratic Sens. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Jacky Rosen of Nevada also crossed the aisle.
Ted Cruz blasted by Tucker Carlson, right-wing Twitter for calling Jan. 6 a "terrorist attack"
“You're making us think, maybe the Republican Party is as worthless as we suspected it was," Carlson ranted of Cruz Ted Cruz and Tucker Carlson Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images
Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky was the lone Republican to oppose the bill.
The Biden administration had argued that the sanctions would undercut US efforts to deter the threat from Russia. A number of Democrats had been weighing whether to break from the White House and back the Cruz measure, wary about appearing soft on Russia amid rising tensions with Ukraine and eager to send a strong message to Russian President Vladimir Putin, including over the pipeline that runs from Russia to Germany.
The vote came after Democrats reached a compromise last month with Cruz, who agreed to lift his holds on multiple Biden administration State Department nominees if he got a vote on his sanctions measure.
Ahead of the vote, Senate Foreign Relations Chair Bob Menendez took to the floor to urge members to vote no, and lobbied for his own bill that would impose sanctions only if Putin decides to invade Ukraine.
'Sloppy' wording this week? Ted Cruz actually called the Capitol assault a terrorist attack at least 17 previous times
Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas said at a Senate committee meeting on Wednesday that the next day was the "anniversary of a violent terrorist attack on the Capitol."Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas said at a Senate committee meeting on Wednesday that the next day was the "anniversary of a violent terrorist attack on the Capitol.
"This legislation makes it absolutely clear that the U.S. Senate will not stand idly by as the Kremlin threatens a re-invasion of Ukraine," the New Jersey Democrat said in a statement Wednesday.
"We are coming together to send a clear message—Putin need not collapse his entire economy nor does he need to sacrifice the lives of his own people in a futile attempt to rewrite the map of Europe. Ultimately the most effective sanction on Russia is a strong and unified Ukraine, and I look forward to working with my Democratic and Republican colleagues so that we can provide the people of Ukraine the type of support they need to confront the bully in Moscow."
Menendez had been leading the charge against the Cruz bill all week. "Putin wants to see Nord Stream 2. If somehow it's killed before any potential invasion, he has one less reason not to invade Ukraine," Menendez said Tuesday. "But if we have the mother of all sanctions levied against him personally and Russia, which is what my legislation will do, then ultimately that is a real deterrent, and a calculation for Putin to have to take into consideration as it relates to invading Ukraine."
Talks with Russia must prioritize Nord Stream 2 to deter Putin, Ukraine's Naftogaz CEO says
The CEO of Ukrainian state energy giant Naftogaz says it is absurd for Nord Stream 2 not to be among the top priorities of international talks with the Kremlin.His comments come shortly after a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council on Wednesday. It was the second high-level meeting this week between Western officials and Russia after high-profile talks between the U.S. and Kremlin officials on Monday. A further meeting is taking place at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Vienna Thursday.
Cruz believes that the newly constructed 750-mile pipeline, which is not yet operating, would empower Putin and allow him to hold dangerous leverage over Europe by controlling the flow of much-needed natural gas there. The Ukrainian government had come out in support of his plan.
Cruz argued that if sanctions aren't enforced, it would be existential for Ukraine. "And days or weeks or months from now -- If we turn on the television set and see Russian tanks in the streets of Kiev, the reason will be that the United States Senate heard the pleas of our Ukrainian allies and we turned a deaf ear to them. I pray that we don't do so. The eyes of history are upon us and this body, Republicans and Democrats, to rise to the occasion."
The Biden administration on Wednesday finalized sanctions options in the event that Russia invades Ukraine, according to senior administration officials, as talks were ongoing in Europe between US, Russian and NATO officials aimed at averting a war.
The Biden administration has sanctions targets and implementation measures "ready to go to be issued when those tanks cross the border," a senior administration official said. "The final package will depend upon exactly what scenario we are facing ... but we are no longer at the point where we have just a memo that lays out options. We have concrete actions that we are ready to hit the return key on."
Dems torpedo Cruz’s bid to sanction Russian pipeline
A nearly party-line vote scuttled the Texas senator's attempt to punish Putin, but a new bill is waiting in the wings.The nearly party-line vote, 55-44, came after an aggressive effort by the Biden administration to limit Democratic defections on the legislation, which the White House viewed as a bid to undercut its strategy to deter a Russian invasion. In the end, six Democrats — many of them vulnerable to GOP challengers in November — and all Republicans but one backed the legislation, falling short of the requisite 60 votes.
Another senior administration official said, "We are ready for every scenario and the options are very well developed."
As CNN previously reported, the White House over the last several weeks had been analyzing the impacts that various sanctions options would have not just on Russia but also on the European and American economies. The administration officials said on Wednesday that the US and allies had determined that while severe economic sanctions will likely have global economic ramifications, any spillover can be managed.
"The European financial system and its overall economy are in far better health than in 2014, particularly in the banking sector," one of the officials said. The official also emphasized that this is not a matter of weighing the costs of imposing sanctions against the scenario of a "peaceful status quo" -- rather, the options have been weighed against the possibility that Russia takes aggressive actions that cause significant destabilization in the heart of Europe.
The US is also aware of the risk that Putin tries to retaliate against any economic sanctions by weaponizing the export of Russian gas to Europe, which relies heavily on Russian energy supplies. One of the officials said that if Putin went down that path, it would "stiffen the resolve of Europe to find supplies elsewhere."
Erdoğan: US pulling support for EastMed gas pipeline due to high costs .
The U.S. is rescinding its support for an underground pipeline that could transport natural gas from the eastern Mediterranean Sea to Europe due to its economic implausibility, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Tuesday, according to Reuters. The so-called EastMed pipeline, proposed as an alternative to Europe's reliance on Russian gas, would convey some 10 billion cubic meters of Israeli and Cypriot natural gas annually via a 1,180-mile pipeline to Greece, and into Europe's gas network via Italy, the news service reported. "This project is not something that can happen.