Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., will place a hold on all military and civilian nominations before the Senate as a way of protesting the Pentagon’s new policy of paying for travel costs for service members to get an abortion.
“The Secretary of Defense is following through with his radical plan to facilitate thousands of abortions a year with taxpayer dollars,” Tuberville said in an exclusive statement to Fox News Digital. “So, I will follow through with my plan to hold all DoD civilian, flag, and general officer nominations that come before the U.S. Senate.”
“As I’ve stated, if Secretary Austin wants to change law, he should go through Congress. This is an illegal expansion of DoD authority and gross misuse of taxpayer dollars – and I will hold him accountable. The American people want a military focused on national defense, not facilitating a progressive political agenda,” he added.
Tuberville’s hold means the Senate will not be able to quickly approve President Biden’s nominees by unanimous consent, as the Senate often does. Instead, Defense Department nominees will require a formal Senate vote, which could make these nominations more difficult to approve.
Senate Democrats already have a slim 51-49 majority, which means a few missing Democrat senators could be enough to tank some of Biden’s nominees. Just this week, for example, Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., checked himself into the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center over clinical depression, raising more questions about the Senate’s near-term ability to approve Biden’s nominees.
There are currently six defense-related nominees in the queue that will be affected by this hold, and that number is likely to grow.
On Thursday, the Pentagon released its formal plan to pay for the travel of service members who seek an abortion or want to accompany a spouse who is seeking to terminate their pregnancy.