WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Republican Sen. Ted Cruz vowed to block dozens of President Biden’s State Department nominees in the U.S. Senate over a Russian gas pipeline project that he said needs to be shut down.
Cruz said he is protesting the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline linking between Russia and Germany and will block Pres. Biden’s nominations until he imposes sanctions on the project or shuts the pipeline down.
“It makes our European allies subject to energy blackmail by Putin and his successor dictators,” Cruz said. “This is bad for America, bad for Europe, bad for peace, bad for the environment, but good for Vladimir Putin.”
Max Stier, president and CEO of nonpartisan organization Partnership for Public Service, said more than 200 nominees are stuck in “confirmation purgatory” as they wait for the U.S. Senate to decide whether they are going to vote them up or down.
Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio) said Cruz is abusing the nomination process.
“What would you say to Sen. Cruz who’s single-handedly blocking key National Security appointments and jeopardizing our national security?” Castro said.
In a House hearing earlier this month, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said leaving high-level posts empty any longer is dangerous.
“We need all these people,” Blinken said. “We need them to do the business of the United States.”
Nord Stream said it filled the pipeline Tuesday with gas and the company is scheduled to begin operation tests this week.