Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) introduced a bill in the Senate that imposed significant sanctions on companies connected to the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline. That project is designed to transport natural gas from Russia to Germany and beyond at German ports. Nord Stream 2 is supported by the Russian government and President Vladimir Putin and is opposed by American allies aligned with Ukraine.
Senate Democrats defeated the measure as the vote came in at 55-44 but fell short of advancing because Democrats invoked the filibuster rule that meant at least 60 votes were needed. The filibuster has been described by academics sympathetic to progressive causes as a tool “overwhelmingly used by racists.”
Ukraine’s government has described Nord Stream 2 as an existential threat to its national security. The pipeline would allow Russia to move natural gas directly to Western Europe and further facilitate Russian threats to invade Ukraine.
Cruz’s bill to sanction the project had support from six Democratic senators. The only GOP senator to vote against the measure was Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY). However, the filibuster rule put an end to the bill’s progress as Democrats used the process referred to by Barack Obama as a “Jim Crow relic” and harshly attacked just last week by Joe Biden.
The Biden Administration publicly opposed the Nord Stream 2 sanctions bill, claiming it would impact relations between the US and Germany.
Cruz promoted the bill by arguing that sanctions are necessary to block the project and deter Russian aggression in Eastern Europe. He asked the Senate if the body would set aside differences to defend America’s ally Ukraine against the attack coming from the Russians.
Some commenters describe the Democratic use of the filibuster rule as hypocritical after Biden outright demanded that Democrats eliminate the legislative filibuster so that his voting rights and spending measures might go forward. Democrats, including Biden, had defended the filibuster in years past when Republicans held legislative majorities.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has said previously that the filibuster serves as an “important check and balance” that must be preserved. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema received some sharp criticism from fellow Democrats and the corporate media last week when she took to the Senate floor to vigorously defend the filibuster, even as she said she otherwise supports the Biden voting rights legislation.