Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., sought to protect the Pentagon on its financial assistance to help service members seeking an abortion outside of conservative states, which restrict termination of pregnancies after a few months.
He got help in Republican Senate U.S. veterans lobbying Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., to back off forcing Schumer to bring forward military confirmations, promotions, and retirements one by one instead of en masse.
Among them, according to The Washington Post, were Sens. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska; Joni Ernst, R-Iowa; Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; and Todd Young, R-Ind.
"These men and women have been through 10 months of sheer hell waiting to find out if their orders were going to be approved, their nominations approved, their children not knowing where they're going to go to school, paying out of pocket for storage, because they were in between moves," Army combat veteran Ernst told the Post. "And it's really disheartening when you're putting those men and women where they want to give up on their country because their country has basically given up on them."
Ultimately it was Tuberville giving up a fight he believed was just to protect the lives of the unborn as the Pentagon skirted the U.S. Constitution in offering to pay service members for travel around the U.S. to get abortions after the Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade, kicking abortion law back to the individual states.
"We got all we could get," Tuberville said last week, dropping the block of en masse military confirmations for all but around a dozen four-star level ones.
Tuberville joined Newsmax's "The Chris Salcedo Show" after dropping his requirement of individual Senate votes for all but the 4-stars.
"I love for the taxpayers to have the people of this country that oversee what we do, like the White House and the Pentagon, to go by the Constitution," Tuberville said. "We fought hard for that.
"But after last week, Chuck Schumer, he changed the rules of the NDAA [National Defense Authorization Act].
"We had it to where we had enough votes to get it voted on and kept in the NDAA, the policy that was supposed to be in for abortion. Chuck Schumer changed the rules and said, 'No, I'm not going to allow that to happen. I'm gonna make all the decisions on the Senate side.' He did, and it was game, set, match.
"So, we fought hard. I could have kept doing this, but I wasn't gonna hold back the promotions from people that needed to be promoted."
Democrats in the Senate were unilaterally behind Schumer and the Biden Pentagon by party lockstep, but instead of denouncing the Republicans that worked him to bend to Democrat wishes, Tuberville toed the party line and rebuked Democrats.
"These are not Americans that we're dealing with on the Democratic side," Tuberville told host Chris Salcedo of President Joe Biden, Schumer, and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
"They're anti-American. They want to change this country, and I believe some of them are so naïve they don't understand what's happening."
Still, Democrats needed the help of GOP senators who have served the country to force Tuberville's long-held hand. The Hamas terrorist attack on Israel on Oct. 7 was the "turning point" that caused Ernst to pick up the Democrats' effort to object to Tuberville demand for individual military votes.
"When we saw the invasion of Israel, it really, really drove it home with us that the world is imploding right now and we need this leadership in place to keep Americans and our own homeland safe," Ernst said.
The holds were causing concern among the military ranks, helping the Democrats' cause, according to Sullivan.
"This oine-star was talking to me saying, 'Senator, we're now taking fire; we're in combat again and we're going to be deployed over the holidays, and you guys are punishing us,'" Sullivan told the Post.
"If they have to see the prospect of starting over again come January, I think you can see dozens leave."
Graham was public in his rebuke of Tuberville on the Senate floor earlier this fall.
"No matter whether you believe it or not, Sen. Tuberville, this is doing great damage to our military," Air Force veteran Graham said. "I don't say that lightly ... if this keeps going, people are going to leave."
Tuberville's hold for all but a dozen four-star promotions was dropped Tuesday and Schumer moved hundreds of promotions by a voice vote that was objected by no one.
Eric Mack ✉
Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.
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