As protests increase, Tuberville remains committed to blocking military appointments over abortion policy

Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 10:05 AM CDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Signs of more than 300 unpromoted military members littered the Senate lawn Tuesday, as Democratic Senators joined with progressive vets to criticize Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville.

“And I hope he looks at them,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-MN, said. “We’ve got families. We’ve got kids. There were schools they were supposed to start in. And they are all waiting because of one man.”

Tuberville’s issue is a Biden administration policy that provides money for military members and spouses living in states that have outlawed abortion to travel for services and for paid time off.

“Taxpayers do not want to pay for anything to do with abortion,” Tuberville said. “Their tax money should not be paying for that. And it’s paying for travel and three weeks off for military members to have abortions, and their dependents.”

Tuberville has been blocking appointments for about seven months and believes President Biden should not be making military policy decisions without a vote from Congress.

“When you dictate laws, you know what that’s called? Communism. You’re telling the American people what you’re going to do without a vote,” Tuberville said.

Some military officers have begun speaking out against Tuberville’s holds. Veteran and Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-IL, said the logjam is hurting national security and impacting events like NATO meetings.

“Our United States military officer who was in charge of representing us at NATO could not go because she had not been confirmed,” Duckworth said.

Tuberville said the Senate can side step his holds by holding full floor votes on every nominee.

The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service estimates that process would take 700 hours of floor time.

Tuberville plans to force a floor vote confirmation Wednesday to confirm General Eric Smith’s nomination for Marine Corps Commandant.