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Tuberville continues hold on 250+ military nominees over Pentagon abortion policy

Jun 15, 2023

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Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., said he will not back down from his hold on more than 250 military nominees, even as some of his fellow Senate Republicans are suggesting alternatives. Tuberville is protesting a Pentagon policy that provides paid time off and travel expenses for active duty members who get an abortion. 

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, proposed that Tuberville drop his hold in exchange for a vote on a bill that reverses the policy, but Tuberville said that is not an acceptable option. 

“I’m not changing for a vote in committee or possibility that Schumer might put it on the floor or possibility that, that if it did pass, that the president wouldn’t sign it. I mean, makes no sense,” Sen. Tuberville told reporters. 

The senator said he will keep this going as long as the Pentagon’s abortion policy remains in place. 

“It’s not hurting readiness. That’s not a problem. I’ve talked to generals and admirals, all the jobs remain filled until somebody is promoted up,” Tuberville said. 

But Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin wrote a four page letter about the negative impacts on military readiness. 

“The longer that this hold persists, the greater the risk the U.S. military runs in every theater, every domain, and every service,” Secretary Austin wrote.  

“The senator from Alabama risks permanently injecting politics into the confirmation of routine military promotions. And that would risk our entire national security,” Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in March when there were 160 pending nominations. 

“No, I don’t support putting a hold on military nominations. I don’t support that,” Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said May 10. 

As of right now, there is no endgame. Tuberville said he will not relent unless the policy is changed. The Senate may still be able to approve some through a much lengthier and involved process.

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Senator Tommy Tuberville says he will not back down from his hold on more than 250 military nominees, even as some of his fellow Senate Republicans are suggesting alternatives. Senator Tuberville is protesting a Pentagon policy that provides paid time off and travel expenses for active duty members who get an abortion. 

 

Senator Joni Ernst asked Tuberville if he’d drop his hold in exchange for a vote on a bill that reverses the policy. But Tuberville says that’s still not acceptable. 

 

Sen. Tommy Tuberbille R-AL: “I’m not changing for a vote in committee or possibility that Schumer might put it on the floor or possibility that, that if it did pass, that the President wouldn’t sign it. I mean, makes no sense.”

 

The Senator says he will keep this going as long as the pentagon’s abortion policy remains in place. 

 

Sen. Tommy Tuberville: “It’s not hurting readiness. That’s not a problem. I’ve talked to generals and admirals, all the all the jobs remain field until somebody is promoted up.”

 

But Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin wrote a four page letter about the hold’s negative impacts on military readiness. He wrote quote: The longer that this hold persists, the greater the risk the U.S. military runs in every theater, every domain, and every Service. 

 

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY: “The Senator from Alabama risks permanently injecting politics into the confirmation of routine military promotions. And that would risk our entire national security. 

 

Sen. Mitch McConnell R-Ky: “No I don’t support putting a hold on military nominations. I don’t support that.” 

 

As of right now there is no endgame to the nominations hold. Tuberville says he will not relent unless the policy is changed. But the Senate may still be able to approve some through a much lengthier and involved process that will take time. Straight from DC, I’m Ray Bogan.

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