U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) plans to call Senate Democratic leadership's bluff on Wednesday by calling for the individual confirmation of a Marine Corps Commandant while maintaining his hold on all military confirmations over the new Department of Defense (DOD) abortion policy.
Tuberville has blocked nominees from being confirmed for their positions over the DOD policy funding travel expenses and time off for service members who travel for an abortion, even stationed in states that have outlawed abortions.
In response, federal lawmakers, the DOD and Pentagon officials have repeatedly claimed that Tuberville's holds negatively impact military readiness. Officials claim Tuberville's holds place the over 300 delayed appointees in limbo.
On Wednesday, Tuberville announced he had secured enough Senate support to bring the confirmation of Marine Corps Gen. Eric Smith's promotion to commandant to the floor.
"Later today, I will go to the [Senate] floor to force a vote on the commandant of the Marine Corps," Tuberville said. "Democrats have been complaining for months about this role being held by an acting official. That acting official, by the way, is the same general who has been nominated on a permanent basis. Democrats control the floor of the Senate. They could have confirmed this nomination at any time, including over the five-week August recess. So, enough complaining. Let's vote."
"Democrats can't have it both ways. My holds on top military nominees are still in place until the Pentagon reverses its illegal policy. This is on [Senate Majority Leader] Chuck Schumer," he added.
Tuberville has repeatedly denied the allegations of hurting the military, saying the nominees are already doing their jobs in an interim capacity. Tuberville also said nominees could be brought to the Senate floor by Schumer. Thus far, Schumer has not brought nominees to the floor for confirmation.
"I would hope that Chuck Schumer would wake up and smell the roses on this and start doing his job as majority leader, bringing these to the floor one at a time, and let's get some of them done," Tuberville continued.
Tuberville acknowledged that one-at-a-time confirmations would be a more lengthy process, all the more reason, according to Tuberville, for the DOD to reverse their policy decision.
"The problem I have with this is I told the Democrats, 'Listen, I'm not changing my mind, okay? You're running into somebody here who is going to stand up for the rule of law,'" Tuberville stated. "Number one, we don't need a dictator in the White House to force laws on the American people. And we need a vote on a very controversial issue. We could have been doing these every week for the last 30, 40 weeks and had most of these people done. But they didn't want to do that. They want to prove a point that they're running the Senate and they can control anything they want."
He continued, "I'm trying to give the people of Alabama a voice on a very controversial issue, which is abortion."
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