President Biden on Thursday said Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s (R-Ala.) hold on military nominations — as well the Senate Republicans who have refused to stop it — is causing “a growing cascade of damage and disruption.”
“This partisan freeze is already harming military readiness, security and leadership, and troop morale,” Biden said in remarks at the Truman Civil Rights Symposium in Washington, D.C. “Freezing pay, freezing people in place. Military families who have already sacrificed so much unsure of where and when they change stations, unable to get housing or start their kids in the new school.”
Tuberville is holding up over 300 military promotions, Biden said. The senator is protesting the Pentagon’s abortion policies, which allows for paid leave and travel reimbursement for abortions.
“A growing cascade of damage and disruption all because one senator from Alabama—and 48 Republicans who refuse to stand up to him — to lift a blockade over a Pentagon policy offering servicemen and women, their families access to reproductive health care rights they deserve if they’re stationed in states that deny it,” the president said.
He lumped in Republican senators as part of the problem too, saying they should be stopping Tuberville from continuing his hold.
“Something dangerous is happening,” the president said. “The Republican party used to always support the military. But today, they’re undermining the military.”
Tuberville this week signaled he is not likely to change his position before the Senate departs for its five week August recess.
“Is time for the senator from Alabama to let these generals and admirals fully serve their country and servicemembers care for themselves and their families,” Biden said. “I urge senate Republicans to do what they know is right and keep our country safe like Harry Truman—approve all those outstanding military nominees now, now, now. Which was routine in the past, I might add.”
The president recently picked en. Charles Q. Brown Jr. to become the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. If confirmed by the full Senate, Brown would become only the second Black man to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs after Colin Powell.
“By the fall, we may not have a chairman of the joint chiefs of staff,” Biden warned, calling Tuberville’s hold “outrageous” and “nonsense.”
He also picked Adm. Lisa Franchetti to be the next chief of naval operations. If confirmed, she will be the first female member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“We need them,” Biden said of all the servicemembers he has nominated for promotions.
“Right now, tens of thousands of America’s daughters and sons are deployed around the world tonight, keeping us safe from immense national security challenges. But the senator from Alabama is not,” he said.
Defense Sec. Lloyd Austin and top officials have also joined Biden in calling on on Tuberville to end the hold. They have put pressure on the Senate GOP to stop the Alabama Republican, warning that he is putting national security at risk.
Source: The Hill