After the Senate confirmed Gen. Charles Quinton Brown as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., claimed vindication over his hold on mass military confirmations, which he said will remain.
“We called them out, and they blinked,” Tuberville told reporters Wednesday, pointing to Senate Democrats’ refusal to address the issue of why the Pentagon is using U.S. defense funding to pay for travel for service member abortions under Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
Brown will succeed Gen. Mark Milley when he retires at the end of the month. It was a just way to move a Biden administration confirmation in the Senate, by a single vote, according to Tuberville.
“So, to be clear, my hold is still in place,” Tuberville told the Senate floor Wednesday. “The hold will remain in place as long as the Pentagon’s illegal abortion policy remains in place.
“If the Pentagon lifts the policy, then I will lift my hold. It’s easy as that. That’s been my position from the very beginning.”
The Department of Defense under Secretary Lloyd Austin has instituted a policy of using taxpayer money to fund travel for service members who want to have abortions after the overruling of Roe v. Wade kicked the issue of abortion law back to the states.
Tuberville has long predicted the Senate will eventually bend to his hold on mass confirmations.
“Democrats can’t have it both ways,” Tuberville said. “Either they will confirm these nominees through regular order, or they can stop complaining about acting officials.
“Democrats say this is a large backlog of nominees. They say it will take a long time. Well, I agree, it’s been a big backlog.”
It’s all due to Schumer’s refusal to address the issue at the heart of Tuberville’s holds, he noted.
“But again Chuck Schumer allowing the backlog to build over six months is his fault,” Tuberville continued. “We could have been confirming one or two a week for the last 200 days. It would have taken us just four hours of voting each week, but we didn’t do it. We took another angle of just sitting back and watching.”
Schumer tried to enforce his will on the Senate and failed, according to Tuberville.
“Chuck Schumer refused again, and again, and again,” he said.
Schumer, Democrats, and the defense secretary decried the “lack of leadership” positions moving quickly, but Tuberville said the criticism is misplaced.
“We don’t have a lack of leadership in our military; we have a lack of leadership right here in the United States Senate,” Tuberville said. “Despite the lack of leadership, senators are perfectly capable of voting. Voting is our job. That’s why we were sent here.”
Tuberville urged Schumer to keep the confirmations coming, one by one, if he chooses to remain steadfast for Pentagon-funded travel for abortions.
“I’m not afraid to vote on these nominees, or on all of these nominees,” Tuberville concluded. “I came here to this chamber to vote, and I reserve the right to seek another cloture position on the nominees in the future. So that’s where we stand today.”
Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., stood by Tuberville, despite some Senate Republicans wanting to eschew the fight against Pentagon-funded travel for abortions to just pass President Joe Biden’s nominees en masse.
“They thought it was good politics for the Democrats,” Scott said. “What Sen. Tuberville is doing is standing up for law in this country. In America, with your tax dollars, we don’t pay for abortion. And the secretary of defense and Biden administration just changed the policy without coming to Congress — no vote, nothing.
“Sen. Tuberville did the right thing and it showed today that this was all politics by the Democrats. They thought it was great politics for them, and they don’t care that they’re violating the law.”
Eric Mack ✉
Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.
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