Deteriorating discussions with Russia over its military escalation along Ukraine’s eastern edge remain ongoing.
In spite of this, Senate Democrats thwarted a GOP-led proposal to slap penalties against a domestic natural pipe on Thursday.
Biden’s Party is Falling to Pieces
After an intense push by the Biden government to restrict Democrats’ resignations on the bill (which the White House saw as a bid to weaken its plan to prevent Russian invasion), the vote was practically by party line, 55-44.
Six Democrats, most of whom are vulnerable to GOP opponents in November, and all Republicans but one, voted in favor of the bill. However, it fell short of the required 60 votes.
The election, and the party political rifts that surrounded it, came at the end of a week of U.S.-Russia discussions in Europe.
These discussions saw American officials issue progressively dire predictions about Russia’s motives. One senior official emphasized on Thursday “the drumbeat of battle is starting to sound loud and hyperbole has gotten somewhat more shrill.”
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) January 12, 2022
After months of delaying approval of President Biden’s ambassador choices, Sen. Ted Cruz won the vote in December.
Democrats chastised the Texas Republican for blocking international policy nominations as a result of his push to nullify the Nord Stream 2 project.
Despite previously supporting sanctions against Nord Stream 2, most Democrats joined the Biden government in resisting Cruz’s bill.
Democrats argued it was a poorly-timed and politically driven indicator that would isolate the US from its European allies when unity is needed to discourage Russia. Russia has managed to amass large numbers of troops all along the Ukrainian border.
Democrat Senator Bob Menendez suggested approving Nord Stream 2 right now, as Cruz’s measure requires, “could even be the justification Putin is seeking” to attack Ukraine.
Cruz’s bill might be a “present” to Russia, according to another prominent liberal, “because it sends a signal of divisiveness at a time when we need to be united.”
Democrats Think This is Partisan
“This bill will not assist Ukraine,” said Democrat Sen. Chris Murphy, a key White House supporter on the issue.
“It’s intended to harm the president of the United States. Some of our fellow Republicans have continuously prioritized their desire to destroy President Biden politically over their commitment to safeguarding the country.”
Major victory for the rule of law. https://t.co/PjZ1lwFocs
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) January 13, 2022
Republicans, on the other hand, have been keen to attack Biden, who waived congressionally mandated penalties on Nord Stream 2 last year, bringing bipartisan chastisement.
Senators Raphael Warnock of Georgia, Maggie Hassan from New Hampshire, Catherine Cortez Masto from Nevada, as well as Mark Kelly of Arizona, are four of the six Democrats who supported Cruz’s plan.
They are also all up for reelection in November. Senators Jacky Rosen from Nevada, as well as Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, are both Democrats who support the bill.