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Senate Democrats were slammed Thursday for taking advantage of the filibuster rule, which prominent members of their party have recently decried as racist, to block a bill from Republican Sen. Ted Cruz implementing sanctions on Russia.
The Senate voted 55-44 to pass Cruz’s sanctions on Russia for its Nord Stream 2 pipeline with Germany but failed due to a bipartisan agreement to subject it to a 60 vote threshold.
MOSCOW, RUSSIA – SEPTEMBER,13: Russian President Vladimir Putin enters the hall to address Tokyo 2020 Paralympic medalists. (Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images)
A handful of Democrats joined Republicans in voting for the measure.
The new natural gas pipeline, which is awaiting final approval from German and European officials before it goes into operation, has been a particular focus of attention as the U.S. and its European allies try to build a package of deterrents strong enough to stop Putin from invading Ukraine.
The move was met with immediate criticism from conservatives on social media who pointed out that Democrats have been attempting to abolish and suspend the filibuster with some Twitter users pointing out that just days earlier, President Biden tried to make the case that anyone who opposes removing the filibuster is akin to George Wallace and Jefferson Davis.
President Biden speaks after exiting a meeting with the Senate Democratic Caucus in Washington, on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022. (Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
“Seriously, you can’t make this up,” the North Carolina GOP tweeted. “The same week Biden delivers a factless, angry, dishonest rant in Georgia to announce his flip-flop on the filibuster, Democrats effectively filibustered sanctions on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline.”
“4 all their talk of eliminating the filibuster/60 vote requirement the Dems were perfectly happy using that same 60 vote requirement to block sanctions on Russia last night The bill got 55 votes but Dems are blocking it anyway Isn’t that ironic??” Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley tweeted.
“Democrats Yesterday: People who support the filibuster are racist,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel tweeted. “Democrats Today: Let’s filibuster sanctions on Russia.”
Pipes for the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea gas pipeline are stored on the premises of the port of Mukran near Sassnitz, Germany, on Dec. 4, 2020. (Stefan Sauer/DPA via AP, File)
“To fully understand the hypocrisy and idiocy of today’s Democrat party remember that in the same week that they tried to eliminate the filibuster dems used said filibuster to go soft on Russia and enable them to get a pipeline and $$$,” Donald Trump Jr. tweeted.
President Biden, who has referred to the filibuster as a “Jim Crow relic,” accused supporters of the filibuster Tuesday of being on the side of Democrat segregationists like Bull Connor and George Wallace.
The Associated Press contributed to this report