“Cruz agreed to lift his holds on 32 nominees in exchange for the Senate voting in early January on his legislation to sanction the pipeline, which the U.S. opposes but decided not to sanction in order to preserve relations with Germany.
Cruz’s blockade, which began shortly after Biden took office, has stymied the Senate’s work on foreign policy nominations, drawing rebukes from Democrats who contend that Cruz was putting U.S. national security at risk.
“I think it’s perfectly reasonable for senators to try and get votes on policy issues that matter to them,” Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) said in a brief interview. “What I think is perfectly unreasonable is that there are holds on dozens of ambassadors and senior nominees by several Republican senators. We have to have a path towards confirming qualified nominees.””
““Ted Cruz is making it very hard on him,” Murphy said bluntly of the Texas Republican senator. “Ted Cruz is holding up every single State Department nominee right now, so the Republican strategy is to try to make it as hard as possible for President Biden to manage crises around the world.”
Cruz, who is widely considered a possible candidate in the next presidential cycle, has held up Biden’s nominees to key national-security positions. He says it’s an effort to encourage the administration to fully implement congressionally mandated sanctions for the controversial Russia-to-Germany natural gas pipeline known as Nord Stream II.”
“Biden has declined to fully impose those sanctions — which could have crippled the pipeline — as the German government pushes for its completion. The president has said he wants to patch up U.S. alliances with European allies like Germany, which suffered under Trump.”