(USNewsMag.com) – On Nov. 1, a small group of Senate Republicans lashed out at Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville after he rejected the handful of military promotions they had brought to the floor for unanimous consent.
Tuberville objected to each of the nominees brought to the floor, just a small portion of the 350 currently in limbo. Since February, Tuberville has blocked military promotions because of a new Department of Defense policy that pays the travel expenses of some service members if they need to travel out of state to have an abortion.
Speaking from the floor before each of the nominations, the group of Republicans, Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan, Indiana Sen. Todd Young, Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, and Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, each urged Tuberville to reconsider blocking the nominations.
On the floor, Tuberville stated that his objections are about “the rule of law,” “the integrity of our military,” and “keeping politics out of the military.”
Graham, who stated that he also disagreed with the new policy, took aim at Tuberville. From the floor, Graham showed a photo of a service member whose promotion to lieutenant general and deputy commander of the Pacific Air Forces has been held up by Tuberville. Graham stated that Tuberville had denied Maj. Gen. Laura Lenderman a promotion, saying, “You did that.” He stated that instead of denying promotions, Tuberville should take the issue to court. He added, “Don’t ruin the lives” of those who have served “our nation for decades.”
Ernst, Sullivan, and Young each stated that service members should not be held responsible for Department of Defense policies, adding that military readiness is being affected by the holds.
Romney, who stated that he agrees the issue should be taken to court, said he would file a legal action to have the policy reversed. Romney also asked Tuberville if he would support relying on a private charity to pay for the abortions instead of the Department of Defense.
In response to Romney, Tuberville stated that this is “the type of negotiation” he’s been hoping for since February.
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