On Thursday, the same day their effort to eliminate the Senate’s filibuster rule appeared to receive the death blow, Democrat senators employed the filibuster to prevent a Republican bill from coming up for a vote.
The Republican bill to slap sanctions on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline to Germany failed to gain the 60 votes necessary to overcome the filibuster, despite bipartisan support, The Hill Reports:
“Senators voted 55-44 on Cruz’s legislation, falling short of the 60 votes needed for it to pass. Democratic Sens. Tammy Baldwin (Wis.), Catherine Cortez Masto (Nev.), Maggie Hassan (N.H.), Mark Kelly (Ariz.), Jacky Rosen (Nev.) and Raphael Warnock (Ga.) joined every Republican save Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) in voting for the bill.
“The vote on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will carry gas from Russia to Germany, comes at a delicate moment for White House as it navigates renewed tensions with Moscow over its buildup of troops on the border with Ukraine.”
Also on Thursday, it became clear that Democrat senators’ bid to eliminate the filibuster rule would fail, as two members of their own party made clear that they oppose ending or weakening the rule. In a 50-50 Senate, enacting the change would require the support of all 50 Democrat senators and a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris. Other Democrat senators may also oppose changing the filibuster rule, but have not publicly spoken out against it.
Without the Republican bill placing the pipeline sanctions to discourage Russian aggression, Ukraine could be wiped off the map, Texas Senator Ted Cruz (R) warns.
The Ukrainian government supports the bill and opposes the pipeline, which would deprive it of the natural gas transit fees it currently imposes on Russia for moving natural gas across Ukraine.