Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), has placed a hold on all military and civilian nominations before the Senate as a means of protesting the Pentagon’s new policy, which would provide service members with the required travel funds in order to access abortions.
Tuberville, in a statement to Fox News Digital, claimed that the Secretary of Defense is using his “radical plan to facilitate thousands of abortions a year with taxpayer dollars.” He added that for that reason he was going to proceed with his own plan to “hold all DoD civilian, flag, and general officer nominations that come before the U.S. Senate.”
He had previously noted that Secretary Austin would need to go through Congress if he wanted to see any changes to the law, and that misusing taxpayer dollars in this way was illegal. He further claimed that the American people want to see the nation’s military focus on national security and defense, not promoting a “progressive political agenda.”
With Tuberville holding nominations, the Senate is not going to be able to just approve President Biden’s nominees through unanimous consent as quickly as they normally would. Instead, all Defense Department nominees will need to go through a formal Senate vote. This could delay the process of having nominations approved.
Currently, Senate Democrats have a slim 51-49 majority, this means that if even a few Democrat senators are not present during a vote, Biden’s nominations will not be approved. Senator John Fetterman (D-PA), for example, last week checked himself into the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to treat his clinical depression. This has led to many questioning the extent to which the Senate will be able to continue approving the nominees brought forth by Biden.
There are six defense-related nominees in the queue right now, and depending on how this hold goes, it is likely that the numbers will expand further.