On Wednesday, Sen. Tommy Tuberville, a Republican from Alabama, pushed Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to hold floor votes on military nominations that had been delayed for months. Tuberville used a Senate provision that allows a minority member to initiate a cloture vote if supported by 16 signatures. Yet, upon receiving the petition, Schumer, a Democrat from New York, decided to bypass Tuberville’s move and head straight to the floor votes.
In a conversation with Fox News Digital on Thursday, Tuberville said, “We made him act. The public now knows they have the capability to proceed this way. I hope he keeps this approach since I remain firm on addressing all nominees collectively.”
Consequently, the Senate approved Gen. Charles “CQ” Brown as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, with plans to vote on two additional nominations the following day. Nevertheless, Democrats are intent on holding individual votes for each nominee.
Tuberville emphasized that his action revealed that Democrats could have always processed nominations individually. “This isn’t the approach most senators, regardless of party affiliation, prefer, but my actions have made the obstruction evident,” Schumer remarked in a Wednesday Senate session.
The decisions take place against a backdrop where 300 nominees await confirmation, a delay instigated by Tuberville due to the Pentagon’s abortion policy, covering some costs for military personnel opting for abortion.
Although Tuberville acknowledges the policy might remain unchanged, he emphasized, “The topic will remain prominent until next November.”
Approaching an election year, Tuberville intends to strongly emphasize this issue. In a statement from August, Tuberville, who previously coached college football, mentioned the delay since February allowed him to scrutinize the nominees, revealing “serious reservations.”
Specifically, Tuberville highlighted an article by Col. Ben Jonsson, a nominee under President Biden, where Jonsson discussed “white defensiveness” following George Floyd’s demise.
Reflecting on his prolonged hold, Tuberville commented on the realization many have had regarding the types of military leaders in place. “While we have numerous capable and deserving leaders, some seem to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion over their primary duties,” he said, concluding, “Our armed forces aren’t just about equal opportunities; their primary role is the safety of Americans.”