‘We make the laws’: Tuberville holds the line against DOD’s abortion policies despite pushback from Dems, GOP


Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., is refusing to stop blocking President Biden’s Department of Defense nominees over what he said was the Pentagon’s “illegal” policy to reimburse travel for abortion and provide paid time off for service members or their family members choosing to terminate a pregnancy.

“I hate to have to do this. It’s unfortunate. But we make the laws over here. The DoD doesn’t. This is not about abortion. It’s about taxpayer-funded abortions,” Tuberville said Monday evening amid pushback from Democrats and members of his own party, according to Punchbowl News.

Tuberville announced he would block all DOD nominees on Feb. 17, just one day after the Pentagon outlined its new abortion policy, and has so far prevented the Senate from approving what is typically a block of nominees in a single vote.

“If this was about a list of personnel, people actually doing the fighting, this might be different,” he added. “If this had to do with winning a war, obviously I wouldn’t be doing this.”


Tuberville reiterated his commitment to blocking the promotions of certain military commanders last week during a speech on the Senate floor while objecting to an attempt by Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., to force a vote on the nominees.

“I will continue to come down here and lay out the facts for as long as my colleague from Colorado wants to. We talked about this less than a month ago. The facts have not changed. My position has not changed. And so I reserve the right to object,” Tuberville told the body at the time.

Tuberville reacted to Bennet claiming his holding of Biden’s defense nominees was “unprecedented” by pointing to a January report from Defense News in which the latter threatened his own objections to Biden’s nominees over Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s “refusal” to meet with him concerning the administration’s decision to move the U.S. Space Command from Colorado to Alabama. Tuberville also referenced a previous hold by Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., of over 1,000 military promotions.


“Federal law only allows the military to provide abortions in three very narrow circumstances: rape, incest and threat to the life of the mother. Yet the Biden administration has turned the DOD into an abortion travel agency. They did it by using just a memo,” Tuberville said.

While several of Tuberville’s colleagues on the Senate Armed Services Committee — which is responsible for certain military promotions — agree with the notion behind his decision, some said it’s not a tactic they would employ.

“Clearly, on the DoD policy, I absolutely agree with Sen. Tuberville,” said GOP Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi, the top Republican on the Armed Services Committee, according to Punchbowl News. “That said, there are a lot of military positions that need to be filled. And so we’re working with leadership and Sen. Tuberville to see what can be resolved.”

Similarly, Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., said, “It’s a tactic that he chose to use. He has that right as a senator. It’s not one that I would use.”

Senate Democrats, however, were outraged over Tuberville’s holdout on the promotions.

Armed Services Committee chair Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., told Punchbowl he worries Tuberville’s hold will cause a “severe disruption of the military at the highest levels.”

“That will have long-term and very bad consequences for the military,” Reed said, according to the outlet. “This has to be resolved quickly.”

Fox News’ Brandon Gillespie contributed to this article.

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