Democratic Senators Leaning Towards not Supporting Nord Stream 2 Sanctions Bill

After meeting with several White House officials, several Democratic U.S. senators said the sanctions against Nord Stream 2 proposed by Republican Senator Ted Cruz could harm relations with Germany. On Monday, State Department and energy officials met with 10 undecided Democratic senators on the bill.

The proposal is expected to get a Senate vote this week after the two parties agreed on a deal last month which will see Ted Cruz to withdraw his hold on numerous ambassador nominations by President Biden. The bill must get 60 votes to pass, which is a problem in the 50-50 Senate. Even if the Senate approves, it will still have to pass from the House and signed by the President.

The Biden administration does not want to strain relations with Germany especially at a time when it needs support to discourage Russia from the invasion of Ukraine. That’s why the White House tries to persuade the undecided senators to vote against.

Germany’s new government is also divided over Nord Stream 2. While the Social Democrats support the pipeline because of the country’s need for natural gas after shutting down most of its nuclear and coal plants, their junior coalition partner, the Greens,  oppose it.

Since he took over the Presidency last year, Biden has opposed Nord Stream 2 as it would bypass the key U.S. ally Ukraine, depriving it of transit fees.

Still, the administration lifted sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG last year to normalize relations with Germany and other European allies, worsened during the Trump Presidency.

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