5,000 Veterans Back Sen. Tuberville’s Hold on Pentagon Nominees—Other Vets Run Attack Ad on GOP Senator

Ryan Morgan
By Ryan Morgan
July 18, 2023Politicsshare
5,000 Veterans Back Sen. Tuberville’s Hold on Pentagon Nominees—Other Vets Run Attack Ad on GOP Senator
Senator-elect Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) in Washington on Nov. 9, 2020. He's one of a handful of senators or senators-elect who have said they may object to electoral votes on Jan. 6, 2021. (Stefani Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

Veterans of the U.S. military are divided over a decision by Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) to block the rapid processing of military promotions and nominations. One group of 5,000 veterans has come out in support of Mr. Tuberville, while another veterans group has launched an ad campaign in the senator’s home state, accusing him of jeopardizing national security.

In December, Mr. Tuberville announced he would block the Senate from approving large batches of military nominations after the Biden administration adopted a policy to fund travel and leave for military service members who elect to get an abortion but are legally constrained in the states in which they’re stationed. The Department of Defense (DOD) adopted this abortion policy last year after numerous U.S. states began constraining abortion following the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

Mr. Tuberville’s move prevents the Senate from processing military nominations in bulk through the body’s unanimous consent procedures. The Senate can still approve these promotions and nominations through normal procedural rules, but this makes for a slower process.

The delay in these Senate proceedings has led Mr. Biden and other Democrats to accuse Mr. Tuberville of harming national security.

Mr. Tuberville has said he would drop his hold on the military nominations process if the Biden administration drops its policy of subsidizing abortion-related travel. He said Democrats are welcome to try to adopt the same abortion-travel rules through legislation and would accept the policy if it became law, but will maintain his hold so long as the policy is being dictated through the executive branch.

Tuberville Doing ‘Great Service For The American People’: Veteran Letter

This week, more than 5,000 veterans signed onto a letter (pdf) addressed to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), expressing their support for Mr. Tuberville’s stand on the DOD abortion policy.

“The undersigned stand united in condemning this policy. This policy is not just illegal, it shamefully politicizes the military, circumvents the authority of Congress, and exceeds the authority of the Department of Defense,” the letter reads.

The letter goes on to rebuff claims Mr. Tuberville’s hold is harming national security, saying that the harm is instead coming from the Biden administration itself.

“While some claim that Sen. Tuberville’s position is negatively impacting military readiness, the Department of Defense has failed to present any evidence that substantiates this claim. To the contrary, it appears true that the politicized agenda of Secretary Austin and the Biden administration are significantly diminishing military readiness. The American people, including its servicemembers, are disappointed by President Biden and Secretary Austin’s recent decisions to mandate receipt of the COVID-19 vaccines, promote the radical LGBT agenda, and now subsidize abortion. Because of these policies, the military now faces an unprecedented crisis of recruitment – missing its recruitment goal for the first time ever last year. The focus of our military must be on keeping the American people safe, not advancing the left-wing social agenda.”

The letter concludes by saying Mr. Tuberville “is doing a great service for the American people – including its service members.”

Among the signatories were Reps. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.), Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.), Elijah Crane (R-Ariz.), and Ronny L. Jackson (R-Texas), all four of whom have served in the U.S. military. Mr. Crane served in the U.S. Navy SEALs and Mr. Jackson is retired as a rear admiral in the U.S. Navy.

Other signatories on the letter included retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, who served as the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency and as national security advisor to President Donald Trump. Another lieutenant general, a major general, and two brigadier generals were also among the signatories.

Alabama Ad-Buy Targets Tuberville

VoteVets, a group of Democratic and politically progressive military veterans, is among those criticizing Mr. Tuberville’s opposition to the DOD abortion policy. VoteVets describes itself as an organization “backed by over 1.5 million Veterans, military family members and their supporters.”

On July 12, the progressive veteran group released a political ad targeting Mr. Tuberville. On Tuesday, July 18, the group said the video was part of an ad-buy, purchasing air-time to run the video in Alabama.

“Every Day, crises pop up all around the world. Crises you may never hear about,” the narration for the ad reads. “And the world’s greatest military is ever on alert, ready to defend us against any threat with our best and brightest seated in positions of command. But what if they’re not?

“For months, one lone senator, Tommy Tuberville, who never served in uniform himself, has held hostage hundreds of military assignments just to force his MAGA social agenda on women in the ranks; freezing all promotions for top military posts, to the Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, leaving mission-critical positions to go vacant. Our enemies are watching, looking for any vulnerabilities to exploit and MAGA Senator Tommy Tuberville is playing right into their hands, playing political games with our national security. And not one Republican in Congress will stand up to him and let our troops keep us safe.”

According to a Tuesday press statement, the political organization said it is “already considering running other ads, and taking other actions aimed at getting military promotions through the Senate confirmation process.”

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