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US Senators Reportedly Trying to Bridge Gap on Nord Stream 2 Sanctions to Pass Defence Budget

© AFP 2022 / MANDEL NGANThe US Capitol is seen in Washington, DC, on October 28, 2021
The US Capitol is seen in Washington, DC, on October 28, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.12.2021
The GOP lawmakers earlier blocked the National Defense Authorisation Act (NDAA) passage, with Congress considering adding new measures targeting Russia over its "amassing" of troops near the Ukrainian border and the gas pipeline Nord Stream 2.
Democrats and Republicans in the US Senate are trying to forge an agreement to pass the national defence bill after the GOP blocked it earlier in the week, The Hill reported, citing sources.
According to the report, lawmakers from both parties are running a so-called "hotline" to check in with all 100 Senators to see if anyone will block the deal on 21 amendments to the bill during the Wednesday vote.
A Senate aide told The Hill that one of the amendments, authored by GOP Sen. James Risch, includes a proposal to impose sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. Targeting Nord Stream 2 was something that the Biden administration had reportedly lobbied against but the inclusion of this proposal to the bill would mark a win for Republicans who were left unsatisfied with the Democrats' reluctance to sanction the pipeline.
Initially, there were 18 amendments that Senate lawmakers were trying to pass before the Thanksgiving recess, with no amendment envisaging Nord Stream 2 sanctions included. The vote was fruitless, failing 45-51 on Monday and throwing the bill into limbo.
The Republicans slammed their Democratic colleagues for their stance against sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
"It is especially bizarre to see the Democratic leader so focused, so intent, on blocking the Senate from dealing seriously with the growing aggression from Putin’s Russia. He seems downright desperate to block new bipartisan action on Nord Stream 2. It’s strange to see," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday.
The new developments give the bill a chance but, according to the report, the exchange of offers is still ongoing.

"We just got a new offer from the Dems. We sent them an offer earlier today... and so I'm hopeful that we'll get something that will enable the process to move forward," said Republican Sen. John Thune. When asked about the Republicans requesting the amendment on Nord Stream 2 sanctions, he noted: "That's a big one."

In late November, a Foreign Policy report said that the Biden administration was pressing congressional Democrats not to push the Nord Stream 2 sanctions forward – a move that prompted bipartisan resistance. According to the report, the Biden Cabinet views the sanctions against the pipeline as counterproductive and potentially harmful to US relations in Germany.
Construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in Germany - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.11.2021
Biden Admin Reportedly Lobbying Democrats to Kill Nord Stream 2 Sanctions From Defence Bill
The Nord Stream 2 pipeline, designed to deliver Russian gas directly into Central Europe, has sparked intense international debates. While the United States weighed in alleging that Moscow will use the pipeline to undermine energy security of Europe, Germany argues that its energy security does not concern Washington. Russia, for its turn, has repeatedly underlined that the Nord Stream 2 project is purely economical and must not be politicised.
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