Biden waiving Nord Stream 2 pipeline sanctions puts US at 'competitive disadvantage': GOP leader McCarthy

McCarthy, other GOP lawmakers said pipeline’s completion would be 'gift' to Vladimir Putin

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., ripped President Biden’s decision to waive sanctions on the Russia-backed Nord Stream 2 pipeline, arguing the move would hurt the U.S. economy and geopolitical interests.

In a letter to Biden dated Monday, McCarthy and other GOP House members expressed "strong objections" to his administration’s decision to lift sanctions on the Germany-to-Russia pipeline. The lawmakers said the pipeline’s completion would be a "gift" to Russian President Vladimir Putin following what they described as a "cyber terrorist attack" that crippled Colonial Pipeline, a key U.S. fuel supplier.

"This action, which will send more Russian natural gas to Europe, also puts U.S. resources at a distinct competitive disadvantage, costing American jobs and reducing America’s geopolitical influence," the lawmakers said.

Biden lifted sanctions on Nord Stream AG and its top executive, a longtime Putin associate, in a move that critics said would fast-track the pipeline for completion. Republican lawmakers have accused Biden of hypocrisy, given his decision by executive order to halt construction of the U.S.-based Keystone XL pipeline due to environmental concerns.


McCarthy and his co-signatories, Reps. Garret Graves, R-La., Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., and Andy Barr, R-Ky., noted that Biden’s secretary of state, Antony Blinken, said during his confirmation hearing that he was "determined" to halt the Nord Stream pipeline.

"Given your open hostility to domestic pipelines like the Keystone XL pipeline, which also was a top priority for our Canadian allies, it is baffling that you are willing to green-light Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline," the lawmakers added. "The Keystone XL pipeline would enhance our energy security and create job opportunities for Americans."


"Lifting these sanctions, however, prioritizes Russian energy over American energy and Russian jobs over American jobs."

Biden, who had previously opposed the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, said the imposition of sanctions "would be counterproductive now in terms of our European relations." 

German officials have supported the project.

Biden is slated to meet with Putin later this month.

"We urge you to rethink your action and fully implement the Congressionally mandated sanctions against all responsible parties and actors to permanently stop completion of Nord Stream 2," the lawmakers added.