Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) has held back the promotion and nomination of over 300 military positions in the Senate following an announcement by the Pentagon in February that travel and living arrangements for troops and their families to get abortions in states that restrict or have banned them would be paid at the taxpayers’ expense.
As a senator, Tuberville can hold up unanimous consent, the vehicle by which most promotions are made in bulk, indefinitely. This doesn’t derail the promotions entirely but merely requires the Senate to actually vote on each.
“This could be handled very easily,” he said. “Chuck Schumer, just bring them to the floor. Let’s confirm them. Let’s work a little bit around here. Don’t worry about anything other than work and get the job done for the American people. … They can do them one at a time.”
Essentially, this isn’t a senatorial “strike” like a filibuster would represent but rather a “slow-down” of the chamber’s legislative agenda to pressure Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who enacted the highly controversial policy change without congressional approval, to reverse course.
Schumer, who favored the move in February as a staunchly pro-abortion Democrat, was highly critical of Tuberville. “Look, the bottom line is this is a Republican problem. Don’t pawn it off on us,” Schumer according to The Hill.
“It was created by Tuberville solely himself, and it’s up to the Republicans to put pressure on him to back off, plain and simple. We’re already seeing that pressure mount,” Schumer said.
“The pressure is mounting,” he repeated. “Tuberville should back off.”
But as The Hill reported, Tuberville is resolute and “says he will only release the holds if the Biden administration reverses its policy of paying for service members to travel across state lines to obtain abortions.”
When asked if he would be willing to negotiate with Austin or the White House on the matter he shook his head “no” on Tuesday.
“No, we’ve been going down for seven months,” he began, explaining the lack of room to negotiate. “They’re not into it either. There’s no give-and-take here, either side.”
Tuberville posted to X, formerly Twitter Sep. 5th, “The longer the hold continues, the more time we have to do oversight and look into the backgrounds of these nominees. The Senate has a responsibility to scrutinize these nominations.”
The longer the hold continues, the more time we have to do oversight and look into the backgrounds of these nominees.
The Senate has a responsibility to scrutinize these nominations. https://t.co/iRvf4qj0wn
— Coach Tommy Tuberville (@SenTuberville) September 5, 2023
The intense rhetoric from the Biden-controlled DOD has continued to escalate, with Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro even alleging that by holding these promotions and nominations in the Senate, Tuberville is “aiding and abetting communist and other autocratic regimes around the world.”
“As someone who was born in a communist country, I never would have imagined that actually one of our own senators would actually be aiding and abetting communist and other autocratic regimes,” Del Toro told CNN.
Trash “journalism” from the Salt Lake Tribune.
I’m old enough to remember that Biden’s Secretary of the Navy went on CNN just this week and accused Sen. Tommy Tuberville of “aiding and abetting communist and other autocratic regimes around the world.” pic.twitter.com/jJpfJ0Jinn https://t.co/uXQl15Wc3e
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) September 9, 2023
As reported by The Salt Lake Tribune, Tuberville’s colleague Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) has “vigorously defended Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s month-long blockade of hundreds of military promotions to force the Biden administration to rescind a policy to provide leave and reimburse travel expenses for service members and their families to travel to other states for abortions.”
.@SenTuberville is using the Senate rules to defend our constitutional system. Instead of respecting that, @SECNAV accused him of “aiding and abetting communists and other autocratic regimes around the world.” @SECNAV is a good man, but what he said was indefensible. #Apologize https://t.co/d8cD0WckhT
— Mike Lee (@BasedMikeLee) September 7, 2023
In a post to X, Lee demanded Del Toro apologize, writing “@SenTuberville is using the Senate rules to defend our constitutional system. Instead of respecting that, @SECNAV accused him of ‘aiding and abetting communists and other autocratic regimes around the world.’ @SECNAV is a good man, but what he said was indefensible. #Apologize”