The Republican senator’s months of waiting on military confirmations about the Pentagon’s policy of paying service members to travel to seek abortions has left the Marine Corps without a Senate-confirmed leader for the first time in 100 years. If his blockade continues in the coming weeks, it could mean the same for leaders of the Army, Navy and the Joint Chiefs candidate.
More than 200 other military promotions (and related salary increases) were also blocked.
Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.), a former CIA officer, warned that foreign adversaries are likely watching as the U.S. military lingers in limbo awaiting confirmation.
“I think it’s real that foreign countries are recognizing that one person can absolutely halt the progression of military careers and, more importantly, can prevent positions vital to our national security from being filled,” he told MSNBC Sunday. Inside with Jen Psaki.”
Tuberville said it would be willing to vote on candidates one by one, but it would take much longer to confirm the hundreds of promotions that are usually passed by the Senate in large blocks.
“We gave him many options for a vote, and he turned them all down. [Iowa Republican Sen.] Joni Ernst has a bill that goes even further than what Senator Tuberville is on, and she rejected that vote. And the Republican leadership offered him several exit ramps for that, and he backed into a corner,” Duckworth said Sunday.
But Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) defended the Tuberville blockade on Sunday, noting that « every senator has the right to place limits on candidates on a matter of political importance. »
« Senator Duckworth had exactly the same grip Tommy Tuberville had a couple of years ago on generals to promote, » Sullivan said on « Meet the Press. » In 2020, Duckworth announced plans to put 1,000 military promotions on hold until then Defense Secretary Mark Esper confirmed that the promotion of impeachment witness Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman would be blocked. Duckworth’s catches lasted less than two weeks.
“Each of these types of holds, 99% of them are resolved through a compromise. And what has to happen, the Secretary of Defense, Senator Tuberville, Chuck Schumer has to sit down and have that pass,” Sullivan said.