(AP) — Senate Democrats have defeated a bill by Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz that would have slammed sanctions on a Russian natural-gas pipeline to Germany. Democrats denounced it as a Republican political gesture that would have harmed relations with Europe at a time when the allies are trying to show a united front against Russia. The vote was 55-44, short of the 60 it needed to pass. Republicans argued the sanctions would show U.S. resolve in defense of Ukraine. Democrats back a rival bill that would impose penalties on Russia if it invades Ukraine.