GOP Lawmaker Says Tuberville Has Caused a “National Security Problem”

( – Tension is rising between two congressional Republicans over the US military’s top leadership. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) is blocking a slate of nominations for senior command positions. One of his House counterparts says he’s threatening our national security.

When the Supreme Court struck down Roe v Wade last June, the Defense Department decided it would give women in the US military paid leave and travel expenses if they needed to travel out of state to get an abortion. Senator Tuberville doesn’t approve of that decision, and he decided to take action.

In February, Tuberville, who entered the Senate in January 2021, launched a one-man campaign to block nominations for military appointments that need Senate approval. When he began, that affected around 150 senior officers. The number has now risen to about 270, meaning none of these posts have permanently appointed officers in them.

The United States Marine Corps doesn’t have a confirmed commandant for the first time since the Civil War, and the US Navy doesn’t have a Chief of Naval Operations. The commanders of both branches should sit on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. By the end of September two more members of the Joint Chiefs, including chairman General Mark Milley, will have stepped down. Right now acting appointees are filling the posts blocked by Tuberville.

It’s notable that Tuberville’s fellow Republicans haven’t rushed to back his campaign, and now one has openly come out against it. On September 11, Representative Mike McCaul (R-TX), chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, blasted the senator for “paralyzing the Department of Defense.” He said it’s a “national security problem” and hinted that “one man in the Senate” shouldn’t be able to cause so much disruption.

Meanwhile other GOP senators are urging Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to bypass Tuberville by calling individual votes on the nominees. So far, Schumer has refused — probably because Tuberville is giving him an easy way to make conservatives look bad.     

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