- ‘Men and women have been denied promotions,’ Sen. Joni Ernst said
- Lindsey Graham angrily confronted Tommy Tuberville on Senate floor
- Republicans lawmakers railed against their fellow GOP senator
Republican senators angrily confronted Sen. Tommy Tuberville on his blockade of almost 400 military officers Wednesday evening, taking over the Senate floor for more than four hours to rail against their fellow GOP lawmaker.
‘Men and women have been denied promotions. We have done best we can to honor request of a fellow senator that these nominations be brought to floor and voted on individually. I really respect men of their word. I do not respect men who do not honor their word,’ said Republican Senator Joni Ernst, who served in the Iowa Army National Guard for 23 years.
Tuberville, a Republican from Alabama, stood and objected to each nominee – 61 times by the time was night was done – extending his holds on the military confirmations and promotions.
Senate Republicans – including Senator Joni Ernst from Iowa – tried to move military confirmations on the floor Wednesday night
‘Senator Tuberville I hope we can get past this,’ Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who served in the Air Force, said as the GOP lawmakers began their push.
But there is no immediate resolution in sight. And the debate quickly turned ugly with Republican senators confronting Tuberville on the Senate floor.
‘Why are we putting holds on war heroes?’ asked Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska, who is a colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. ‘I don’t understand.’
Tuberville objects to the Pentagon’s new policy of paying for travel when a service member has to go out of state to get an abortion or other reproductive care. President Joe Biden’s administration instituted the policy after the Supreme Court overturned the nationwide right to an abortion, and some states have limited or banned the procedure.
‘The Pentagon is now paying for travel and extra time off for service members and their dependents to get the get to get abortions. Congress never voted for this. We also never appropriated the money for this. There is no law that allows them to do this,’ Tuberville said Wednesday night on the Senate floor.
Graham advised Tuberville to sue the Pentagon as he stepped up to directly confront his colleague from Alabama.
‘If you think they’ve done something illegal, go to court. That’s how you handle these things,’ he told him.
He also warned that every senator could find a reason to disagree with the White House and start putting holds on all sorts of matters.
‘Everybody in this body could find an issue with any administration they don’t agree with. And what we’re going to do is open up Pandora’s Box,’ Graham said.
‘This is doing great damage to our military,’ he added.
And Defense Department officials have argued the hold up on promotions and confirmations could affect national security.
Wrapping up for the night at almost 11 p.m. on Wednesday, Sullivan said the senators will continue to call up nominations.
If the standoff continues and officers leave the military, he said, Tuberville’s blockade will be remembered as a ‘national security suicide mission.’
Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville of Alabama is holding up military promotions as he objects to a Pentagon policy of paying for travel when a service member has to go out of state to get an abortion or other reproductive care.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina angrily confronted Tuberville on the Senate floor
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the lawmakers will try a new workaround to confirm the officers.
Schumer said the Senate will consider a resolution that would allow the quick confirmation of the nearly 400 officers being held up.
‘Patience is wearing thin on both sides of the aisle over the Senator’s antics,’ Schumer said on the Senate floor Thursday morning.
‘Democrats and Republicans alike have tried to reason with the Senator from Alabama, offering him one solution for compromise after the other, but every step he has refused to cooperate,’ he noted, adding he plans to bring up his resolution to move the nominations forward soon.
‘If we can’t solve this problem another way, we will all have to vote to move these nominees forward,’ he said.