Sen. Tommy Tuberville drops blockade on most military nominations

Sen. Tommy Tuberville drops blockade on most military nominations

1 of 3 | Sen. Tommy Tuberville dropped on Tuesday his blockade against most military nominations in response to rules allowing leave for military personnel requiring abortions. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 5 (UPI) — U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., on Tuesday mostly dropped his boycott of military nominations, which left multiple nominees in a state of limbo for months.

Tuberville initiated the boycott in February as a protest against military rules that allow servicemembers to leave base in states that don’t allow abortion to travel to states that do.

The boycott was in response to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin signing the memorandum Ensuring Access to Reproductive Health Care, which also granted soldiers leave if they required abortion services.

“I’m releasing everybody — I’ve still got a hold on, I think, 11 four-star generals, everybody else is completely released from me. Now somebody else might think… a few other people got holds on one or two or three people. But other than that, it’s over,” Tuberville told reporters.

“It was pretty much a draw,” Tuberville told reporters.

Tuberville’s boycott drew criticism from former officials who accused him of “harming military readiness.”

In May, seven former military officials sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer who said, “leaving these and many other senior positions in doubt at a time of enormous geopolitical uncertainty sends the wrong message to our adversaries and could weaken our deterrence.”

Tuberville’s announcement meant that hundreds of military nominees that previously were held up could move forward at last.

After Tuberville’s decision, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., quickly moved some 400+ nominations in one bloc of unanimous consent Tuesday afternoon, according to a report by The Hill.

Also later Tuesday, the White House released a statement from the president, in which Joe Biden praised the end of the hold but criticized the lawmaker who initiated it and the Republicans who supported him.

“After 10 months of undermining military readiness and the morale of our troops, Sen. Tuberville of Alabama has finally lifted his politically motivated hold on hundreds of military nominations,” Biden said in the release. “Four hundred twenty five highly-qualified, patriotic military leaders have now been confirmed by the Senate to perform their duties as they fulfill their sacred oath to keep our country safe. These confirmations are long overdue, and should never have been held up in the first place.

“Our service members are the backbone of our country and deserve to receive the pay and promotions they have earned,” the president said. “In the end, this was all pointless. Sen. Tuberville, and the Republicans who stood with him, needlessly hurt hundreds of servicemembers and military families and threatened our national security — all to push a partisan agenda.

“Those who serve this nation deserve better,” he said.  » …
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