(RepublicanWire.org) – President Joe Biden has cut off the imports of Russian energy and, as gas prices have been rising for around a year, they are expected to climb more.

In his speech announcing the ban on Russian energy imports he also appeared to blame the rise in gas prices on the Russia and Ukraine war,  as he did later when confronted by a reporter.

“Do you have a message for the American people on gas prices?” a reporter said to Biden as he was walking.

“They’re going to go up,” the president said.

“What can you do about it?” the reporter pressed.

“Can’t do much right now. Russia’s responsible,” the president responded.

Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz shredded him for it, saying that the president is lying about the reasons for the rising gas prices.

“This is a flat-out lie. Gas prices have increased 48% under Biden—BEFORE RUSSIA INVADED UKRAINE. Biden did that. That’s bc Biden: – killed Keystone pipeline. – froze federal leases. – shut down ANWR All, while Biden waived sanctions on Putin’s pipeline,” the Texas senator said.

NBC News reported this week that the administration had made a decision to blame Russia for the gas prices.

When President Joe Biden called the rising cost of gas in the U.S. “Putin’s price hike” Tuesday — laying the blame for pain at the pump squarely on Russian President Vladimir Putin — it wasn’t a casual aside. And his warning to oil and gas companies against price gouging was no ad lib.

His comments while announcing a U.S. ban on Russian oil imports in response to Putin’s assault on Ukraine — which he repeated hours later as he arrived for a veterans event in to Fort Worth, Texas — were part of a deliberate shift by the White House in the president’s messaging strategy about gas prices ahead of the midterm elections, people familiar with the internal deliberations said.

“When Joe Biden came in the very first week in office, he shut down the Keystone Pipeline; he destroyed 11,000 high paying jobs, including 8,000 union jobs. He immediately froze new leases both on federal land on shore and on federal land off-shore. That’s had a dramatic effect; we’re seeing the prices skyrocketing at the pump,” the senator said on CNBC on Tuesday.

“It really is striking; in 2019 the United States became a net energy exporter,” he said. “We are an oil and gas superpower. And yet under Joe Biden, last year for the first time since then, America stopped being a net energy exporter as our production went down, and the result of Biden’s presidency has been that the enemies of America, countries like Russia, like Iran, like Venezuela, are all getting stronger, getting richer, getting more aggressive; getting more hostile because the president is simultaneously weakening our own ability to produce energy and strengthening their ability to produce energy. I gotta say: It’s backward on both fronts.”

“It’s important to understand that the rhetoric of the far Left, they don’t actually believe it,” the senator argued. “It’s not actually about the environment. If the only thing you cared about was the environment, let’s say you didn’t care at all about jobs; you didn’t care about inflation; you didn’t care about gas prices at the pump skyrocketing; you just cared about the environment; on that metric, the Biden administration is a disaster. Why? When you shut down the Keystone Pipeline, it’s not like the Canadians just leave that gas in the tar sands; instead, they put it on trucks and trains and they ship it south or they put it on ships and they ship it west to China. Both pollute more, produce mor CO2.  When you shut down production in the United States it’s not like the rest of the world suddenly ceases driving cars or flying jet airplanes; what happens instead is producers like Russia, producers like the Middle east produce more, and all of that production is dirtier; it pollutes more; and it’s more carbon emissions, more CO2.”

“So the effect of Joe Biden, the effect of the Greens in Germany has been more pollution and more CO2 emitted to the environment. Their rhetoric is not what they’re trying to do; what they’re really trying to do, it’s an irrational, emotional response. The Biden administration wants to destroy U.S. energy production,” he said.

“And I gotta say this past week has illustrated it powerfully; you’ve seen the Biden administration travel to Venezuela, go to Nicolas Maduro, a vicious dictator, an illegitimate government, someone who murders his own citizens, and beg them to produce oil. You’ve seen the Biden administration this week in Vienna with Iran trying to have the Ayatollah Khomeini produce more oil. And it is bizarre that this administration wants enemies of America like Russia and Iran and Venezuela to produce oil and at the same time to destroy jobs here in America,” he said.

(RepublicanWire.org) – Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz sounded the alarm about President Joe Biden’s nominee to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), as the Senate Commerce Committee voted on a party-line basis to move the nominee to a full vote in the U.S. Senate.

Speaking before the Committee after the vote, Cruz warned that Gigi Sohn, Biden’s pick to become FCC Commissioner, has a history of advocating for censorship of conservatives, and it would be dangerous to put her in charge of the FCC.

“[I have] significant substantive concerns with this nominee,” Cruz said.

He referenced a letter from former North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp, who took issue with Sohn’s previous comments advocating against expanding broadband access for rural Americans in favor of constructing government-run networks in urban areas, a process known as “overbuilding.” Cruz called the letter “interesting,” and said he hoped Democrats in the Senate would take Heitkamp’s warnings to heart.

“My principal concern with Ms. Sohn is that she has expressed a significant willingness to use government power against political enemies, and to use government power as a tool of censorship. And I think the FCC is a particularly dangerous place for a partisan who is willing to try to muzzle those with whom she disagrees.” Sohn has a history of attacks against Fox News, and posted tweets appearing to call for the censorship of both Fox News and Sinclair Media. She was asked about these and other controversial tweets during her confirmation hearing but claimed they would not impact her behavior as a policymaker.

I am extremely concerned about Gigi Sohn’s nomination for FCC Commissioner.

The FCC is a particularly dangerous place for a partisan who is willing to try to muzzle those with whom she disagrees.

Sohn has publicly shown her disdain for conservatives and conservative media. 

— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) March 3, 2022

“There was a time when there were Democrats willing to speak out in defense of free speech,” Cruz continued. “That time seems to have passed. I think that is unfortunate. I hope that at least some in the Democratic caucus continue to value free speech and don’t want to see government power abused, don’t want to see, in a subsequent Republican administration, a Republican on the FCC silencing Democrat voices. That would be equally inappropriate. It’s not the role of government to silence voices with which they disagree, and for those of us who have served some time in this body, we’ve all learned and seen firsthand, the shoe is on the other foot, and one party may have a majority at one point, one party may have the White House at one point, but with the progression of time, the positions are changed.”

In addition to those concerns, Cruz also made known a significant ethical question about Sohn.

Cruz pointed out that Sohn joined the board of now-defunct online television streaming service Locast in March of 2020, almost a year after the service was sued for copyright infringement. Cruz said that Sohn knew this when she joined the board, and issued a statement in support of Locast at the time the suit was filed. A federal judge ruled against Locast and against the broadcasters it had infringed upon, and a $32 million settlement was made for damages. But a secret settlement was made that lowered the amount from $32 million to just $700,000. The timing was especially suspicious, Cruz argued, as President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate Sohn to the FCC on October 26, 2021, the secret settlement was filed on October 27, and Sohn’s nomination was formally submitted on October 28th.

There are deeply troubling substantive and ethical concerns about Gigi Sohn’s nomination for FCC Commissioner. 

— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) March 3, 2022

The Senate Commerce Committee reported a tie vote to the Senate on Sohn’s nomination, putting her confirmation up for a vote before the full Senate with extra procedural hurdles. Committee Republicans issued a statement on Twitter Thursday cautioning Democrats against moving the confirmation to the full Senate. “To be clear: today’s vote does not advance Gigi Sohn to the Senate floor,” Ranking Member Roger Wicker (R-MS) said, via Twitter. “With her nomination failing to garner support from a majority of committee members, Democrat leadership will now have to decide if they want to take the extraordinary step of circumventing this committee and bringing such a polarizing nominee to the Senate floor for a vote.”