U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) said on Wednesday that he is trying to seek a resolution to his military holds before Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) presents a rule change bypassing the holds to the Senate floor.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Senate rules committee passed a measure to bypass Tuberville's military promotions hold by allowing them to be approved in one bulk vote.
Tuberville has repeatedly blocked hundreds of military nominees from being confirmed to their positions for months over the Department of Defense's policy of funding travel expenses and time off for service members seeking an abortion.
Schumer recently said he expects to bring a rules committee resolution to the floor for a vote in the coming weeks. The resolution would require at least nine Republican votes for final passage in the Democrat-controlled Senate.
On Wednesday, Tuberville said he is working behind the scenes to end the holds without bringing the rule change to the floor for a vote. In addition to pursuing a lawsuit challenging the federal government for the abortion rule, Tuberville is also fighting to maintain a portion of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in the House that removes the DOJ abortion funding, despite staunch resistance from Schumer.
“I would like to get this over with,” Tuberville said. “We’re continuing to work from behind the scenes to try to keep this abortion policy in the House version of the NDAA, where it can stay in the Senate and where we can get it voted on and passed. I would immediately drop the holds. That’s my first prerogative. The second one is I don’t want to change the rules of the Senate. I mean, that would be devastating down the line.”
“I want these promotions to happen for the people that deserve the promotions. But I also want taxpayers to not have to pay for anything to do with abortion. It’s against the law, it’s unconstitutional, and this executive overreach, this dictatorship out of the White House needs to stop. It needs to stop now," he added.
Although he previously said he did not expect Republican support for the resolution, Tuberville has now changed his tune. He fears Senate Democrats may have the necessary GOP votes to bypass his holds.
“I’m a little afraid at this point that we’ve got too many Republicans that would vote on the Democratic side,” Tuberville continued. “That would never happen if the Democrats was pushing this. We would never be able to get Democrats to vote on our side. Hopefully this doesn’t happen.”
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