WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., yesterday voted in favor of legislation sponsored by U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, that would put heavy sanctions in place on the Russian-owned Nord Stream II pipeline, overruling a waiver President Biden had granted. The pipeline, now awaiting final certification by German regulators, is expected to carry larger volumes of Russian natural gas directly to Europe, ensuring these nations will be more heavily reliant on the Kremlin for their energy supplies. Wicker and other senators have been vocal in their support for U.S. sanctions on the pipeline to discourage its completion, especially as Russian troops continue to threaten an invasion of Ukraine.
“The Biden Administration’s plan to greenlight the Nord Stream II pipeline shows that the President is willing to allow Vladimir Putin and his cronies to gain a stranglehold over Europe’s gas supplies. The Administration cannot claim to be tough on Russia while at the same time turning a blind eye to our allies. The world is watching what the U.S. will do to support our friends in Ukraine and Europe. As Putin sends more and more troops to the border, time is running out for President Biden to act,” Wicker said.
The legislation, which required 60 votes to pass, failed to advance despite receiving 55 ayes and 44 noes. Senator Schumer called for the 60-vote threshold in his agreement with Senator Cruz setting up the vote on the measure. President Biden had also lobbied Democrats to oppose the measure.“I find it highly ironic that Senator Schumer and President Biden are relying upon a 60-vote threshold to kill this bill in the same week they are campaigning to do away with that threshold. The President and Majority Leader should be focused on supporting the Senate, not destroying it,” Wicker said.