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Biden Hits Senator's Hold on Military Nominations Over DoD Abortion Policy

Monday, 19 June 2023 06:59 PM EDT

President Joe Biden on Monday took direct aim at Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville for holding up some 200 Pentagon nominees over a Defense Department abortion policy.

"It's just bizarre. I don't remember it happening before, and I've been around," Biden said of the actions of Tuberville at a fundraiser for wealthy donors in California's Silicon Valley.

Tuberville, a former football coach from Alabama, began blocking confirmations to senior Pentagon posts in March to protest a Defense Department policy enacted last year that provides paid leave and reimburses costs for service members who travel to get an abortion.

The Alabama senator has called the policy a violation of the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits using federal taxpayer funds for abortion services.

His home state, home to six military installations, has laws on the books banning abortions even in cases of rape or incest.

Tuberville, defending his four-month campaign, has said the Pentagon policy is an effort to bypass Congress, letting the department do its own legislating.

"It's an illegal policy," Tuberville told the Washington Examiner about the Pentagon stance. "They changed it, they can't do it, so let's go back to the original policy. If they want to change it, let's change it here in Congress, like we are supposed to."

Earlier this month, the White House slammed the lawmaker. Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called his actions "shameful" and accused him of endangering national security.

Jean-Pierre said the senator's blockade on the nominees was hurting military families and risking "our military readiness by depriving our armed forces of leadership."

The Alabama senator is blocking what is usually a speedy process to confirm Pentagon nominees. If he persists, the U.S. Senate would have to consider each nominee in a longer process that takes up valuable floor time as each candidate is put up individually.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in May said the holdup is endangering national security and called the block "irresponsible." 

© 2024 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.


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President Joe Biden on Monday took direct aim at Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville for holding up some 200 Pentagon nominees over a Defense Department abortion policy."It's just bizarre. I don't remember it happening before, and I've been around," Biden said of the actions...
tuberville
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2023-59-19
Monday, 19 June 2023 06:59 PM
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