Dems Try to Stop Tuberville by Setting Fire to Senate Rules
In football, you don’t get to change the rules if you’re losing. But in the Senate, Democrats (and sadly, some Republicans) have decided that’s the only way to win against one coach: Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala). As usual, if the Left can’t beat someone fair and square, they’ll burn down whatever’s standing in their way. In this case, it’s more than 100 years of precedent.
At Tuesday’s meeting of the Senate Rules Committee, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) followed through with his threat to try to break the Auburn coach’s nine-month stand by ending the practice of military holds altogether. According to the New York extremist, Tuberville “has defied long-standing Senate custom” by standing in the way of 300-plus Pentagon promotions — a means of protest that his own party has exercised as recently as this year! Still, Schumer railed, “If every one of us had the temerity to do what Senator Tuberville has done, we would have no military. All our national security would vanish.”
Actually, the military wouldn’t cease to exist — the Senate’s excuses for inaction would. Like every senator involved in the Rules coup, Schumer knows there’s a simple way to resolve this impasse (several actually): start voting. Or, better yet, redirect the pressure on Tuberville to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and tell him to roll back the policy that got America into this mess.
But Democrats, so sickly fixated on their abortion extremism, refuse to. Even though the policy — which makes taxpayers responsible for killing unborn military children — is illegal to begin with.
Senator Ted Budd (R-N.C.), one of the conservatives frustrated by leadership’s game-playing, led a letter to Austin with 26 other senators explaining exactly that. “We’ve got to change the narrative back to the truth,” he told “Washington Watch” host Tony Perkins. “… It’s not Senator Tuberville [who] is the problem here. The letter simply says, ‘One, you promised not to politicize the military. And you did.’ And the other is that the simplest way to fix this is to change the policy.”
Frankly, Budd said, “I’ve told [Secretary Austin] in person, in multiple hearings, [that] the way to fix this is with the stroke of a pen. You can fix this by this evening — the evening of the hearing. And he chose not to. He was a well-decorated warrior. At one point he served our nation, and now he’s become completely politicized by the Biden administration. It’s very, very disappointing. And the narrative needs to be the truth: this is not about Tuberville. He’s simply standing up for a good policy.”
Rules Chair Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) did get powerful pushback on the resolution from ranking Republican Senator Deb Fischer (Neb.) who pointed out that the Senate never changes rules like this without broad support. It’s “an anomaly” to pursue this temporary change, she argued. “[T]he Senate rarely takes up standing orders that temporarily create new Senate procedures,” Fischer reminded her colleagues. “In fact, in past decades, the Senate has only taken up and passed three such measures.” But those three resolutions, she insisted, “were all created in a bipartisan fashion and passed by unanimous consent or with broad bipartisan support.”
And while a handful of weak Republicans have inexplicably abandoned Tuberville to push Biden’s abortion agenda, Fischer argued that this proposal “is a political maneuver that does not have the same support. At its core, the resolution is an attempt to protect the Biden administration’s poor policy decisions. Federal law prohibits the Department of Defense from using federal funds for abortions, except in very limited circumstances. … This policy not only goes beyond the department’s statutory authority, it doesn’t do anything to increase our military readiness,” she warned.
Yet, as Perkins pointed out, “Democrats are working to circumvent this established practice of members being able to place holds. That’s one of the few things that those in the minority can use to kind of slow the process down.” Changing the rules “would create a very toxic environment going forward.” Not to mention that it creates a dangerous precedent of steamrolling the minority whenever their objections are inconvenient.
To pull off this stunt, Schumer’s party will need 10 Republicans on board. “Pray that wouldn’t [happen],” Budd urged. At least in committee, every Republican — including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), who’s been less than supportive of Tuberville — voted against the idea.
Before it goes to the floor, Family Research Council’s Quena Gonzalez told The Washington Stand, every Republican needs to hear from their constituents. “Targeting the unborn by changing Senate rules to advance President Biden’s unlawful taxpayer-funded abortion travel policy is bad for the unborn and bad for the rule of law,” he insisted. “The policy targets the unborn directly, bypassing pro-life laws in pro-life states by providing generous leave and travel expenses for out-of-state abortion — leave that military personnel can’t get for other reasons.”
Equally awful, “It targets taxpayers by making us all complicit in these abortions. It targets military women and dependent family members by telling them abortion is the answer. It hijacks the military in service to the Left’s unholy obsession with abortion. And it attacks the Constitution by enabling the Biden Pentagon’s lawless taxpayer-funded abortion policy.”
At the end of the day, Gonzalez argued, “What good is a law prohibiting taxpayer funding for abortions if the administration will break the law and the Senate will bend over backward to make sure no one can hold the president accountable? All Tuberville and his Senate allies are demanding is accountability: that the Biden administration follow the law, or that Congress change it. Every senator should be asked by voters why he or she is not upholding the law on taxpayer-funded abortions. And every pro-life senator who isn’t opposing this radical rule change should be being asked why: Why is he or she enabling the Biden administration’s radical, unlawful taxpayer-funded abortion travel policy?”
Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.