(HorizonPost.com) – The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee last weekend slammed Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville for his ongoing blockade of military promotions, describing it as a “paralyzing” move that harms national security, NBC News reported.
While appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) said holding up not just promotions but also nominations has paralyzed the Defense Department and is a problem for national security.
Tuberville has been blocking hundreds of military promotions over the Pentagon’s policy to reimburse travel expenses for service members seeking an out-of-state abortion in violation of federal law.
McCaul said he wished that Senator Tuberville would reconsider his position, noting that the abortion issue is being addressed in the latest Defense appropriations bill.
Steven Stafford, a spokesman for Senator Tuberville told NBC News that McCaul’s remarks on “State of the Union” are inaccurate. Stafford noted that nobody is stopping Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer from holding votes in the Senate on military nominations, adding that Schumer “just doesn’t want to” do it.
Stafford argued that there are currently officials acting in the roles that are up for nomination and in some cases, the acting officials are the ones who have been nominated. He told NBC News that none of the jobs are open, nor is the work “going undone.”
President Biden has also criticized Senator Tuberville’s blockade, describing it in a July statement as “dangerous.”
Last month, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin called the blockade “unnecessary” and “unsafe,” claiming that Tuberville is undermining military readiness and hampering the Defense Department’s “ability to retain our very best officers” while “upending” the lives of military families.
The Republican House passed a version of the National Defense Authorization Act that included an amendment forcing the Pentagon to rescind its abortion policy. The Senate, however, passed a version that bypassed floor votes on a similar amendment.
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