Republican Senate Tommy Tuberville (Alabama) revealed he would be holding his vote on military and civilian nominations brought before the Senate in protest to the Pentagon’s new policy to pay the transport costs of service members to receive an abortion.
Tuberville revealed his intentions in a statement to Fox News Digital, explaining that since the Secretary of Defense was implementing “his radical plan to facilitate thousands of [taxpayer funded] abortions a year,” he would “follow through” on his plan “to hold all DoD civilian, flag, and general officer nominations.”
He added that if Secretary Lloyd Austin wanted to “change [a] law, he should go through Congress.”
In his statement, Tuberville called out Austin for illegally expanding DoD authority and misusing taxpayer dollars.
The Alabama Republican added that the “American people want a military focused on national defence” rather than one “facilitating a progressive political agenda.”
Tuberville’s decision to hold will have far-reaching consequences as it would stifle any attempt Senate makes to approve President Joe Biden’s nominations quickly. Typically, Biden’s DoD nominations are expedited by the Senate through unanimous consent.
But Tuberville’s hold throws a wrench in that system, meaning Biden’s Defense Department nominations will have to go through a formal Senate vote, making the appointment process more challenging.
Since Democrats hold a precarious majority in the Senate (51 seats to Republicans’ 49), one absenteeism could prevent Biden’s nominations from being appointed.
Events like Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman (D) checking himself into the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for clinical depression is an example of a hurdle that could cause a simple nomination to stall.