AboutDean of the US senators is slowing down the appointment of important candidates to the US Treasury and new American ambassadors in order to force the White House to impose sanctions. However, according to Politico, the Biden administration has not changed its decision
The White House will not impose sanctions against “Nord Stream-2” as long as Joe Biden remains president. This position has not been changed by the contradictions with Senator Ted Cruz, who is slowing down the approval of candidates for positions in the US State Department and the Ministry of Finance in order to force Washington to resort to new sanctions against the pipeline. This was reported by Politico with reference to sources. Reuters also writes about the Biden administration’s disagreements with Cruz.
As explained by Reuters, candidates for official positions do not cause doubts in the Senate, they can get them at an accelerated pace in order to get to work faster. Sources from the White House indicated to the agency that employees of the Ministry of Finance, as well as numerous candidates for American ambassadors, could be appointed as soon as possible. However, this requires the consent of all 100 senators, and the matter is slowed down by the Republican senator from Texas, Cruz, the only one who does not give his permission.
With reference to federal statistics, Reuters notes that after Biden took office, his candidacies in the government are approved more slowly than it was under the previous three presidents. The Senate approved 191 Biden candidates, or about 36% of those proposed, compared with 42% of Donald Trump’s candidates over the same period, 68% of Barack Obama’s candidates and 65%George Bush’s candidates. According to the agency’s sources, in particular, out of 20 places in the Treasury, where new officials were supposed to appear, only four are now filled. Politico writes that Biden’s candidates for the post of ambassadors waited an average of 98 days before their official appointment. Under Trump, candidates waited 77 days, and under Obama, an average of 66 days.
The NYT wrote in early October that Cruz had delayed the approval of dozens of State Department candidates, including 59 potential ambassadors. Treasury Department spokesman John Rizzo told Reuters that the Senate still cannot approve key candidates who are critical to “achieving national security goals to curb illegal financing and combat terrorism.”
A senator cannot single-handedly prohibit the appointment of a particular candidate, but he can turn the approval of each of the accelerated standard procedure into many hours of discussions. Thus, he interferes with the work of the entire Congress, since he distracts senators from discussing other pressing issues.
«Senator Cruz is just <..."it makes it difficult to manage the federal government," Ron Wyden, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, told Reuters. The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Menendez, called Cruz's actions undermining national security and noted that he had not seen such a thing in 30 years of work in the field of foreign policy in Congress.
The Republican himself insists on the following: he will change his policy if the Biden administration imposes new sanctions on the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline, which, according to him, is required in accordance with US law. A representative of Cruz said that the senator from Texas will use “any levers he has as a senator to force President Biden to impose mandatory sanctions on “Nord Stream-2”. In August, Cruz openly stated that he would delay the appointment of each candidate to the State Department.
According to Politico and Reuters, senior officials of the US Treasury Department, as well as Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan, tried to influence Cruz, but to no avail. “We have tried all possible ways,” a senior source told Reuters, adding that the Biden administration is losing hope of changing the senator’s mind.
However, despite the difficulties that have arisen, the White House does not intend to impose new sanctions against the pipeline, sources told Politico.
“Nord Stream-2” consists of two strands at the bottom of the Baltic Sea with a length of 1224 km each and a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters. m. Russia will supply gas to Germany bypassing Ukraine through them. The United States and Ukraine opposed the construction of the pipeline and argued that Moscow could use it as an instrument of pressure on Western countries.
“Nord Stream-2” was completed by September 10, due to US sanctions, this process was delayed for an extra year and a half. The Nord Stream-2 lines began to be filled with gas on October 4, but so far they are not being supplied with gas, since permission from EU regulatory authorities is needed.
At the end of May, Biden called the introduction of new restrictions against the pipeline unproductive for US relations with Europe. The fact that it is difficult for the United States to prevent the completion of the Nord Stream-2 was also stated earlier by White House press Secretary Jen Psaki. “How could we stop a project that was built in another country by 95%?»— she noted.
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