Military Nominees Stalled By Tuberville Hold Until September

( – Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R) is holding up military confirmations in the Senate in protest of the Biden administration’s abortion policy that allows women in the service extra consideration should they elect to terminate a pregnancy.

As of July 27th, 301 military posts were left unoccupied due to a lack of confirmation in the Senate. The upper chamber of Congress is now on recess until September, leaving the vacancies despite warnings from Defense Secretary Austin Lloyd.

The policy change supports service members’ travel needs should they have to go out of state for an abortion due to being stationed in a state where it’s been outlawed or restricted. The Biden administration implemented the policy in response to the Supreme Court striking down Roe v. Wade last year.

According to an analysis by RAND, approximately 80,000 female military members are stationed in states where the process has been restricted or outlawed.

Tuberville said that he’s waiting for a floor vote on the policy itself, while Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) reportedly is open to the idea. Tuberville said he hasn’t had direct discussions with Schumer or Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-SC) about the issue, and that they seem overall unconcerned with the status quo.

Defense Secretary Austin Lloyd has said that leaving the positions vacant threatens military readiness and their ability to respond to sudden emerging threats.

Schumer can’t get around Tuberville’s protest without individually confirming each and every vacant position, which would chew up weeks of scarce floor time.

Schumer blamed Republican leadership for failing to get their man in line as the Senate was getting ready to depart for their August recess on Thursday night. Several Senators joined Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Jack Reed (D-RI) the night before for a session in which they condemned positions being vacant for months.

Tuberville maintains that the Senate should vote on the issue directly which would solve the problem without the need for political machinations.

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