On Tuesday, Alabama Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville blocked Democrat Senator Elizabeth Warren’s request to move 184 military promotions forward, citing his objection to the recently enacted abortion policy from the Pentagon, The Hill reported.
In February, the Pentagon enacted a policy to provide leave and reimbursements to female service members who have to travel out of state to obtain abortions. For months, Tuberville has held up a series of military promotions to protest the policy, vowing he will not back down.
An irate Senator Warren blasted Tuberville on the Senate floor on Tuesday, saying he is “personally standing in the way” of promoting 184 “top-level military leaders.” The Massachusetts Democrat accused Tuberville of singlehandedly “holding up” their pay raises and “taking their posts,” which she claimed will jeopardize national security.
Warren requested unanimous consent for the Senate to immediately proceed with the confirmation vote for Shoshana Chatfield to serve as a vice admiral and the US military representative to NATO’s military committee. The Democrat Senator dangled the ongoing war in Ukraine as the reason the Senate should take up Chatfield’s confirmation.
But since unanimous consent needs only one Senator to block it, Tuberville used his right to object and blocked Warren’s request, saying the Pentagon’s abortion policy violates federal law.
Tuberville said he had warned Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin that if the Pentagon enacted the policy, he would “put a hold on his highest-level nominees.” He said despite the warning, Secretary Austin “went through with the policy” in February, “so I am keeping my word.”
Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee joined Tuberville on the Senate floor and also objected to Warren’s request for unanimous consent.
When asked about Senator Tuberville blocking military promotions during Tuesday’s White House press briefing, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre described his blockade as “political showmanship” that would seriously impact military readiness and US national security.