Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R) on Tuesday blocked a request by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) to allow 184 military promotions to move forward over his objection to the Pentagon’s recently enacted abortion policy.
Tuberville’s protest of the Defense Department’s policy of providing leave and reimbursing some expenses for service members who must travel to obtain abortions has held up a range of military promotions for months, and the first-term senator is vowing not to back down anytime soon.
“One senator is personally standing in the way of promotions for 184 of our top-level military leaders. One senator is holding up pay raises for men and women in uniform. One senator is blocking key senior military leaders from taking their posts. One senator is jeopardizing America’s national security,” Warren said on the floor.
Warren tried to break the logjam by requesting unanimous consent for the Senate to proceed immediately to the consideration of Shoshana Chatfield to be confirmed to serve as vice admiral and serve as the nation’s military representative to the NATO military committee.
“At this critical juncture of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, we need her leadership in NATO now more than ever,” Warren argued.
But Tuberville stood up to slap down Warren’s request, asserting that the Pentagon’s policy is a violation of federal law.
“I warned Secretary Austin that if he did this and changed this, I would put a hold on his highest-level nominees. Secretary Austin went through with the policy anyway in February of this year, so I am keeping my word,” he said.
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), the conservative chairman of the Senate Republican Steering Committee, joined Tuberville on the floor to object to Warren’s efforts to seek unanimous consent to advance the stalled military promotions.
Asked about Tuberville’s blockade of military promotions, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday, “This political showmanship could have a serious impact on our military readiness, on our military forces and our national security.”