‘It’s Not Going to Work’: Tuberville Rebukes Effort to Stifle Stand against Military Abortions
As Senator Tommy Tuberville’s (R-Ala.) military promotions standoff with the White House over its abortion policy in the armed forces enters its eighth month, members of the senator’s own party are beginning to grumble that his refusal to relent is hurting military readiness. But Tuberville stood his ground during an interview Monday, making it clear that the ball is in the Biden administration’s court to reverse course.
Since February, Tuberville has refused to allow unanimous consent in the Senate on approving military promotions, which now amounts to roughly 300 individuals. His action is in response to the Biden administration’s executive action that same month that granted 21 days of paid leave for a servicemember to obtain an abortion, at taxpayer expense, which observers say is a violation of federal law that prohibits taxpayer-funded abortions in the military.
During CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) claimed that Tuberville’s actions are “paralyzing our Department of Defense.” Later on the same program, former South Carolina governor and presidential candidate Nikki Haley said Tuberville is “using military families as political pawns.”
On Monday’s edition of “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins,” the former college football coach noted that there is a lot of confusion surrounding his actions that has been spurred on by the legacy media and Democrats, but argued that the situation is actually simple.
“[T]hey’ve tried to make it very confusing,” but in reality, he pointed out, the Senate could start confirming promotions now if it wanted to. “They can confirm as many as they want, as many as they can get in. It takes about two hours to do a nomination, but they really don’t want to work at it. They don’t. [Majority Leader] Chuck Schumer [D-N.Y.] doesn’t want to bring it to the floor.”
Tuberville further observed that Democrats are even forgoing standard procedural practice of holding a vote for the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Air Force General C.Q. Brown, so that they will not appear to be setting a precedent for holding votes on individual promotions. “Senator Schumer says, … ‘We’re just going to throw the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman in with the 300 and … to put pressure on coach. And it’s not going to work.”
With both the legacy media and Biden operatives labeling Tuberville’s hold as “unprecedented,” congressional history shows that up to 9,000 military personnel have had their promotions held on at least eight occasions over the last 30 years.
Tuberville contends that at the end of the day, his hold on military promotions would end overnight if the Biden administration simply reinstated the military’s former policy on abortion, which was approved by the Senate.
“It’s the Democrats in 1984 — and Joe Biden was one of them in the Senate — that voted this policy in to have abortion in the military only by the three exceptions — rape, incest, and health of the mom. … [A]ll I want to do is keep it the same way. But now because of Roe v. Wade, … they think that they can do this at their demand. And we’re just not going to allow that to happen.”
The senator went on to emphasize that Democrats are hypocritical about complaining about military readiness in the wake of the Biden administration’s ejection of thousands of servicemembers simply for declining to get the COVID shot.
“[T]hey kicked out [8,000 servicemembers] without them having a job, without the mom and the kids having a place to go,” Tuberville lamented. “It is an absolute shame what happened. It took us a year to get that under control. Finally, the Supreme Court says you can’t do that. And then Ted Cruz in July tried to put it in the NDAA [to] put these 8,000 back into the military. The Democrats voted it down. … And we’re having a heck of a time trying to get people in the military now because of the situation we’re in and because of what the Democrats are doing to our Constitution.”
Tuberville further speculated that the Democrats’ efforts could eventually backfire. “[M]y understanding [is that] in their caucus meetings during the week, they are having some pretty good discussions. I bet they are. I think Schumer is taking some pretty good hits from some of the other people.”
Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.