Senator Tommy Tuberville has no plans to back down. The Alabama Republican says he will keep blocking Joe Biden’s military nominees until he stop making Americans fund abortion travel.
Leftist leaders of the military are on the rampage against the pro-life senator this week because he continues to fight against Joe Biden’s abortion tourism.
When Biden announced the new policy to make Americans fund abortion tourism, Senator Tommy Tuberville made the decision to block all military nominations until the policy was reversed. Instead of reversing the policy, the Biden administration continued forcing Americans to fund abortion.
While Biden and the media claim Tuberville is to blame for the lack of approved military nominees, Democrats could have approved the nominees one at a time. – because all Tuberville is doing is blocking a vote on all of them at the same time. Senate Democrats could bring up the nominations – and approve the two nominees today if they really wanted to do so.
Yesterday, civilian leaders of the Navy, the Air Force, Space Force, and Army took to the op-ed page of the Washington Post to accuse Tuberville of “putting our national security at risk.”
Today, Tuberville defended his position against the abortion tourism and said it has had no impact on military readiness.
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“I’ve not changed my mind. I’m doing this for the right reasons,” Tuberville explained. “I’m tired of Pinocchio [President] Joe [Biden] legislating from the White House. They’re not gonna do that on my watch. The people of Alabama have somebody up there that’s going to vote for them. And if we’re going to have some kind of different abortion policy in the military, it’s gonna take a vote on the Senate floor. And if we don’t do that, I’m gonna have these holds for a long, long time.”
The senator said military leaders have confirmed there is no adverse impact from his holds.
“I’ve talked to generals and admirals every day,” Tuberville said on “Greg Kelly Reports.” “There’s no problem with readiness. … This is my prerogative to be able to put a hold on anything”
Moreover, Tuberville confirmed that no one was upset by the prior policy prohibiting taxpayer funding for abortion travel.
“They brought on these experts in basically telling us why they needed to do this,” Tuberville said. “It was for readiness, and it was for recruiting, which is a crock of crap to be honest with you. I asked him if there was anybody who complained about it for the last 35 years. They said, no. I said, ‘Well, that’s funny. Why would you change something nobody’s complaining about?’
“And so 60% of the people of this country say that we should not spend one dime of taxpayer money towards abortion. And so that’s the Democrats and Republicans,” Tuberville said. “So I’m fighting for both sides here.
“Again, if I was affecting the military of the United States of America, which I respect and what I love, and which I believe in, I wouldn’t be doing this, but it is not affecting it. … There’s no way they’re going to talk me out of this.”
Tuberville also confirmed that the woke and leftist policies from Biden and the military are hurting military recruiting, retention and readiness.
“The problem I’m having now is we’re becoming more and more woke every day, and it started under Obama,” he said. “It’s sad to see this happen. Let me tell you if we lose the military … we’re in huge trouble, and we’re headed in that direction because the problem we’re having right now with readiness is not coming from anything other than all these woke policies that they’re pushing.
“This is our military is not an equal opportunity employer. We want the best of the best pilots, generals, admirals, people that believe in this country that will fight to the end for this country.”
They continue making false claims that Tuberville’s pro-life stance is somehow hurting the military. However, as one columnist for the Washington Examiner points out, Tuberville is right. Not only should Americans not be forced to fund abortion travel but Tuberville’s position is not hurting America’s military.
Conn Carroll writes that Democrats could easily approve key members of military leadership today, and they could have approved those leadres for months. But they want to trash Tuberville and his pro-life stance instead.
Let’s set aside, for the moment, the claims of these secretaries that President Joe Biden’s unilateral decision to change Pentagon policy to pay for abortion is absolutely essential to national security. Because, remember, all Biden has to do to end Tuberville’s hold on most military confirmations is to go back to the same Pentagon policy that existed before Roe v. Wade was overturned.
Even if we grant that paying for service members to get abortions suddenly became critical to national security, Tuberville does not have the amazing powers that Democrats claim he does to halt all military nominations completely.
The reality of Senate procedure is that once the Armed Services Committee approves a nomination, that nomination is automatically placed on the Senate’s executive calendar. At that point, any senator can make a motion to proceed to consideration of that nomination. This motion only requires a simple majority (typically 51 senators) to pass.
Now at that point, a senator can filibuster the nomination. But in 2013, the Democrats changed the Senate rules so that all filibusters of nominations can also be ended by a simple majority vote. Senate rules allow 30 hours of debate after a motion to end a filibuster passes, but that rule was changed in 2019 to just two hours for military nominees.
In other words, if all the military nominations that Tuberville is holding are so critical to the defense of our nation, Schumer could have been popping one out every two hours for the past 40 days.
In fact, Democrats could have approved over 100 nominees in the time they have been blasting Tuberville.
Now if we assign the Senate an eight-hour workday and five workdays a week (I realize it is a tall order to make Democratic senators work a typical working schedule), that means Democrats could have cleared (27 workdays times eight-hour days divided by two hours per nominee) 108 military nominees in the time they took off since their last Senate vote — and that assumes Senate Democrats can’t work overtime or on weekends.
So I’m sorry to the officers who have been inconvenienced by Tuberville’s holds, but if these nominations were really an issue of national security, maybe Senate Democrats could have skipped even just one day of their August vacation to confirm even just one of them.
“I warned the Pentagon that I would hold their most senior nominees if they broke the law,” Tuberville said in a statement provided to Fox News Digital.
“They did it anyway, and forced my hand. Since then, Chuck Schumer and the Biden administration have refused any serious negotiations, and so this situation has dragged on,” the statement continued.
Tuberville — a retired college football coach — said the hold, which began in February, has given him “more time to look more closely into the background of some these nominees,” which has prompted “deep concerns.”
“I will continue this process of oversight and I will announce my opposition to specific nominees in the weeks ahead,” he said.
Tuberville argues the Pentagon’s abortion policy violates the Hyde Amendment from the 1970s, which restricts the use of federal funds to cover the cost of abortions, except in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is in danger.
“Coach’s position has not changed,” Tuberville’s office told Fox News Digital on Friday. “The hold will stay on as long as it takes.”
“It ends when the Biden administration stops their illegal use of taxpayer dollars to facilitate abortion. Coach would lift the hold immediately in such a scenario,” it added.
Democrats claim that Tuberville’s actions are hurting the military, but the senator contends that’s not the case.
Tuberville told CNA that if the holdup in promotions was having a negative effect on U.S. military capability, he would be taking a different approach. “If I thought this would affect readiness, I wouldn’t be doing this,” he said. “Readiness is not a problem.”
He cited as an example Gen. Eric Smith, who, though he hasn’t been officially promoted, is currently performing the duties of the Marine Corps commandant in an acting role.
Thousands of veterans recently supported Tuberville in a letter to members of Congress. Here’s more:
In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) signed by thousands of “current and former service members of the United States Military, and organizations which support and advocate for the safety and well-being of our service members” veterans declare that they “firmly support Senator Tuberville’s position of holding civilian, general, and flag officers from confirmation by unanimous consent until the DoD rescinds its recently instituted policy of subsidizing abortion.”
The veterans state in their letter that they “stand united in condemning this policy” implemented by the Biden administration, saying it is “not just illegal, but shamefully politicizes the military, circumvents the authority of Congress, and exceeds the authority of the Department of Defense.”
Addressing some of the incoming Tuberville has faced for his principled stance, the letter shoots down claims that Tuberville’s action has had the effect of “negatively impacting military readiness” by noting the “Department of Defense has failed to present any evidence that substantiates this claim.”
“To the contrary, it appears true that the politicized agenda of Secretary Austin and the Biden administration are significantly diminishing military readiness,” notes the letter. “The American people, include its servicemembers, are disappointed by President Biden and Secretary Austin’s recent decisions to mandate receipt of the COVID-19 vaccines, promote the radical LGBT agenda, and now subsidize abortion.”
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Those policies, the 5,000-plus veterans say, mean that “the military now faces an unprecedented crisis of recruitment – missing its recruitment goal for the first time ever last year.” Instead of catering to Democrat special interests, the veterans say the “focus of our military must be on keeping the American people safe, not advancing the left-wing social agenda.”
In closing, the veterans’ letter reminds that “[t]here is no truth more profound than the fact that all human life is sacred. The mission of the United States Military is to defend and protect all American lives — not subsidize the practice of destroying innocent and vulnerable American children via abortion with taxpayer dollars.”
“By pledging to hold these nominations to the Department of Defense until administration officials reverse course, Senator Tuberville is doing a great service for the American people – including its service members,” the veterans reiterate.
House Republicans successfully added an amendment to a defense spending bill to block the policy. The $886 billion National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2024 passed by a bipartisan vote of 219-210, with four Republicans voting no and four Democrats voting yes. Three Republicans and two Democrats didn’t vote.
The national defense bill now goes to the Senate, where Democrats strongly oppose the pro-life provision. Whether the Senate passes the bill, tries to amend out the pro-life provision or approves its own version remains to be seen.
Unpopular and likely illegal, the Biden policy requires taxpayers to fund travel costs and paid time off for military service members and their families to abort their unborn babies in elective abortions. As a result, Republican leaders estimate 4,100 more unborn babies could be killed in abortions every year.
In response, House Republicans succeeded in passing the Jackson-Roy amendment to the NDAA.
The House voted 221-213 and 222-210 in favor of amendments to the NDAA to ban the Pentagon from paying for expenses related to killing unborn babies and from funding gender transition procedures
“My amendment to stop Biden from using the DOD to pay for abortion travel passed This policy is illegal, and soon, it will be gone. This is a great day for our country,” said pro-life Republican Rep. Ronny Jackson after the vote.
Jackson said Thursday that the pro-life amendment “will halt the Biden administration’s illegal and immoral abortion policy” for members of the armed forces and their families.
“Taxpayer funding of travel for an abortion is in fact taxpayer-funded abortion, and this administration has been enacting policies across the government in clear violation of the law,” Jackson said. “The Biden administration has sidestepped existing statute and given the [Defense] Department permission to take this illegal course of action. This has left House Republicans with no choice but to take corrective measures and pass additional legislation.”
Leading pro-life groups also celebrated the vote which comes at a time when pro-life Senator Tommy Tuberville is blocking military nominees in an effort to get the polic canceled.
“We praise House GOP leadership for their work in preventing taxpayer funds from illegally being used to pay for or reimburse expenses related to abortion travel,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “The Biden Administration has shown repeatedly that it thinks taxpayers are a never-ending source of funds for its abortion agenda.”
Continued Tobias, “The Jackson Amendment in the NDAA prevents the Biden Administration from circumventing established law.”
Federal law (10 U.S.C. § 1093) has long prevented the Department of Defense (DOD) from using funds to perform elective abortions and prevented the DOD from using its facilities to provide abortions. On October 20, 2022, the Biden Administration’s DOD published a memorandum directing the DOD to pay the travel and transportation costs for military members and dependents who travel to obtain elective abortions.
The federal prohibition against DOD funding of elective abortion clearly extends to funding for any item related to abortion, such as travel and transportation, which has been the case for the entire life of the funding prohibition.
The Jackson Amendment:
Clarifies and explains federal law (10 U.S.C. § 1093) that prevents DOD funding from being used to perform elective abortions and prohibits DOD facilities from being used to provide abortions.
Repeals the October 20, 2022 memorandum.
Amends federal law to clarify that the DOD may not pay for the licensure of healthcare professionals in a state if the purpose is to provide abortions.
“Today the House took a powerful step toward reining in Biden’s illegal policy of taxpayer-funded abortion travel at the Department of Defense,” said SBA Pro-Life America President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “Representatives Jackson and Roy have courageously led the charge to force the administration to follow the four decades old law against taxpayer funding for abortion at the DOD. Now the House must send the Jackson-Roy amendment in the NDAA to the Senate, and then on to the president’s desk. We also applaud Speaker McCarthy, Leader Scalise, Chairman Rogers and Subcommittee Chairman Banks for their work to curtail this administration’s funding for brutal, painful abortions.”
Polls consistently show strong public opposition to taxpayer-funded abortions. A new Marist poll found 60 percent of Americans oppose using tax dollars to fund abortions in the U.S. Additionally, 78 percent oppose using tax dollars to fund abortions in other countries.
Bans on taxpayer funding for elective abortions used to have strong bipartisan support in Congress. Only recently did Democrat leaders abandon the American people on the issue and begin supporting taxpayer funding for elective abortions – a goal of the abortion industry, which spends huge amounts of money on elections.
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