HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — A spokeswoman for Alabama U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville told News 19 he has always been willing to negotiate regarding his current hold in the U.S. Senate on military promotions but adds the Biden Administration and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer have made no efforts to negotiate with him.
Tuberville’s hold on military promotions is aimed at ending a Defense Department policy enacted after Roe vs. Wade was overturned that pays travel costs for military service members for out-of-state reproductive care, including abortion
Tuberville’s efforts to block military promotions – in protest of the Pentagon policy – began in February. More than 300 promotions have been blocked or delayed essentially. But Politico and the Hill report Tuberville emerged from a meeting with Republican senators Tuesday signaling there are now a handful of options to end the block and still oppose the policy.
That follows last week’s scene on the Senate floor where some Republicans took aim at the Alabama senator. U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska dismissed Tuberville’s claim that the promotions block was not affecting military readiness.
“There are no readiness problems, that’s such baloney,” Sullivan said. “Baloney. And everybody knows it.”
Tuberville, who’s not backed down for months, suggested Wednesday a resolution could come at some point.
“They try to put pressure on me like nothing’s getting done,” he said. “Come on, I mean everything is getting done that would be done whether I committed to pulling these nominees holds or not. But we’re not, it’s not going to get done overnight. So, we’re going to put everything together we possibly can to find the best route to make everything work on the unborn side and also on the military side.”
Politico reports there is support in the Senate for a rule change that would allow 60 Senators to approve military promotions in a block of nominees.
There have also been suggestions cited by Tuberville of possible lawsuits to challenge the policy or changes in the military budget that would include blocking the current Pentagon policy.
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jack Reed of Rhode Island has said
if the Senate tried to vote on each individual promotion, under current Senate rules it would take 84 days – if the Senate were in session eight hours a day.