Tuberville Stands Firm on Military Holds: Sen. Tommy Tuberville, representing Alabama, remains resolute in his protest against the Department of Defense (DOD) funding abortion procedures for military service members. Even with Senate Democrats pushing for rule changes, Tuberville stands firm.
Democrats, alongside some Republicans and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, are aiming to navigate around Tuberville’s opposition to military promotions. Their plan involves proposing a change in the Senate Rules Committee to approve a batch of nominees through 2024.
Tuberville emphasizes that senators’ primary influence is through procedural maneuvers. The process would require support from nine Republicans to pass a resolution bypassing the holds, with the initial step being the rules committee.
“I’m trying to prevent the White House from acting like a dictator in collaboration with the Pentagon,” Tuberville expressed, highlighting abortion as a significant social issue that demands public input.
The DOD’s abortion policy was instituted following the overturning of Roe v. Wade last year. Tuberville’s nearly nine-month hold, protesting the Pentagon’s abortion policy, has left numerous promotion nominees in limbo. The policy provides paid leave and travel costs for service members seeking abortion.
Tuberville affirms that he won’t lift the blockade unless a floor vote dictates otherwise. Despite concerns about military readiness, he notes that conversations with military leaders reveal no significant issues.
“I know some individuals may need promotions, and it involves a bit more funding,” Tuberville acknowledged. “But, at the end of the day, many generals and admirals have assured me that the job is getting done.”
Despite efforts to reverse the hold, Tuberville, a retired college football coach, remains skeptical about a rule change. Such a change would require 60 votes to pass, and with Republicans holding 49 seats and Democrats the majority at 51, convincing bipartisan support poses a challenge.
“I believe we’ll be able to maintain our stance and compel them to eventually vote on this,” Tuberville asserted. “We’re not the House; we require a consensus with 60 votes. It means persuading individuals from the other side that this is necessary, making our process distinct.”