Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz is vowing to use “all options” to immediately oppose a pipeline project connecting Russia and Germany, arguing it poses a threat to the national security of the United States and its allies.
Cruz blocked several of President Joe Biden’s State Department nominees on Wednesday. He declared he will not approve the nominees until the Biden administration imposes sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline it approved in a concession to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“All of the senators in this chamber know precisely why these nominees have not moved forward. The reason is because the Biden administration is currently engaged in open defiance of the United States Congress, and is doing so in a way that is working serious and material harm [to] the United States’ national security,” Cruz said during a speech Wednesday on the Senate floor.
Cruz’s office published the speech online under the headline: “Sen. Cruz on the Senate Floor: I Will Use All Options To Stop Biden-Putin Nord Stream 2 Pipeline.”
Joe Biden’s decision to waive #NordStream2 sanctions will be a generational geopolitical mistake.
I’ve made it clear to Biden’s State Dept that I will place holds on nominees unless AND until the Biden admin follows the law by imposing sanctions and stops this pipeline. pic.twitter.com/AX5tPmCpts
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) August 11, 2021
“Over a year ago, in December of 2019, this Senate and indeed the full Congress passed legislation imposing strong sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. The Nord Stream 2 pipeline is a pipeline between Russia and Germany designed to carry natural gas as a deep-sea pipeline.
“Vladimir Putin desperately wants this pipeline completed. If the pipeline is completed, it will give billions of dollars to put into use for malign efforts in Europe and throughout the world,” he added.
Cruz explained the Congress is opposed to the pipeline, calling it a “terrible policy.”
“This Congress is overwhelmingly convinced that completing the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is terrible policy. It is bad for the United States. It is bad for Europe. And it is good for Russia and Putin.”
Idaho Republican Sen. Jim Risch, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, added his support to Cruz’s remarks.
He tweeted, “I have introduced a budget amendment w/ @SenToomey & @SenTedCruz to reject the bad deal the Biden Admin. made on the #Russian #NordStream2 project.
“We can’t possibly support a Russian pipeline after shutting down the #KeystoneXL pipeline. Stay tuned.”
We can’t possibly support a Russian pipeline after shutting down the #KeystoneXL pipeline. Stay tuned.
— Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member (@SenateForeign) August 11, 2021
Cruz also noted the past sanctions on the pipeline were bipartisan, joined with New Hampshire Democrat Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.
“How successful was it?” Cruz asked in the speech.
“When the president signed it into law if my memory serves correctly, at 7 p.m. on a Thursday, construction on the pipeline halted at 6:45 p.m. on that Thursday. Fifteen minutes before the sanctions went into law, they ceased building the pipeline. For a year the pipeline lay dormant, it lay as a hunk of metal at the bottom of the ocean. We had succeeded. Together, this body had won a bipartisan national security victory for the United States.”
The Biden administration signaled its approval of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline by waiving U.S. sanctions in May, as Reuters reported. In contrast, Biden used his first day in office in January to sign an executive order in January to end the construction of America’s Keystone XL pipeline.
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