Ted Cruz holding up all State Department nominees over Russian pipeline

The Senate’s push to confirm nominees to critical diplomatic positions has ground to a halt over objections from Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who is holding up all State Department nominees to pressure the Biden administration over Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline, four people with knowledge of the situation told NBC News.

Thirteen nominees approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee are in indefinite limbo as Cruz delays full Senate confirmation in an effort to get the administration to reverse its waiver of sanctions on the company overseeing the pipeline's construction. In most cases, the nominees would fill roles unrelated to U.S. policy toward the pipeline, which would carry natural gas from Russia to Germany...

Cruz previously held up key Biden nominations over his concerns about the pipeline, including CIA Director William Burns and Deputy Secretary of State Brian McKeon. But the senator ultimately allowed those nominations to proceed after the Biden administration indicated in March that it would slap sanctions on companies building the pipeline.