Senate Standoff – McConnell Faces HEAT Over Tuberville Blockade!

( – A group of Democrats in the Senate wrote to Minority Leader and Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell urging him to help end the hold on military nominations by Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville.

The July 24 letter calls Tuberville’s holds “reckless” and asks McConnell to “exercise his leadership.”

Tuberville has been blocking promotions of admirals and generals since February over a new Department of Defense policy that pays for service members’ travel expenses if they need to go out of state to have an abortion. The letter said that the blockade, currently affecting over 250 officers, threatens “our national security.”  According to the Armed Services Committee Chairman and Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed, it would take 668 hours or 84 8-hour days to confirm all currently pending military nominations.

Tuberville stated he would end the blockade if given a chance to vote on new abortion policy. Senate Majority Leader and New York Sen. Chuck Schumer said he would not object to a vote but stated it was “up to the Republican leadership.” Though holds do not block nominations they do make it more complicated, and Schumer has already ruled out the idea of advancing promotions with recorded votes on an individual basis.

Though McConnell has been critical of Tuberville’s hold on military nominations, he has also stated he was “reluctant” to change the Senate process for holds just to disrupt the blockade.

McConnell said both sides have holds and that both sides “work it out” typically, adding he thinks “that’s where we ought to stay.”

McConnell’s press secretary Doug Andres asked in a tweet if Democrats forgot they control the Senate.

The letter, which was led by Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono, was also signed by Democrats Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly, Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Nevada Sen. Jacky Rosen, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, as well as independent Maine Sen. Angus King. All serve, along with Tuberville, on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

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