WASHINGTON — Regardless of warnings from Secretary of Protection Lloyd Austin that vacant prime army positions have an effect on readiness, Congress is heading into August recess with a whole lot of protection nominees on maintain as Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville continues his protest towards the Protection Division’s abortion depart coverage.
As of Thursday, 301 army nominees had not but reached the U.S. Senate ground for approval, usually a easy and fast course of for the higher chamber, which approves the nominees in giant blocs.
Tuberville maintain on army nominees is ‘not solely incorrect–it’s harmful,’ Biden says
Tuberville is obstructing the nominations in response to a coverage that helps service members’ journey for “non-covered reproductive well being care.” The administration instituted the directive after the U.S. Supreme Courtroom struck down Roe v. Wade.
Roughly 80,000 feminine service members are stationed in areas the place reproductive companies, together with elective abortions, are severely restricted or not accessible, in line with a RAND evaluation.
When requested how he felt about going into recess leaving prime army spots vacant, Tuberville informed reporters: “On the entire it’s not my job to vary this. (The Biden administration) modified this. Let’s vote on it on the ground, I imply it’s fairly easy.”
Throughout a press convention final week, Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, mentioned he can be open to Tuberville’s request for a standalone ground vote on the coverage.
Tuberville maintains he has not acquired any direct communication from the bulk chief.
He mentioned he additionally hasn’t acquired communication from management about bringing the nominees for particular person votes — a course of that, if not shortened, may take months of ground time.
“They’re not involved about it,” Tuberville mentioned.
Schumer faces the difficulty of scarce ground time. To avoid Tuberville’s maintain the bulk chief would want to convey nominees to the ground individually, which may all however halt the Senate.
At a Thursday evening press convention because the Senate readied to depart the nation’s capital for a month, Schumer mentioned Republican management is accountable for convincing Tuberville to launch the holds.
“I feel in August, stress goes to mount on Tuberville, and I feel the Republicans are feeling that warmth,” Schumer mentioned.
A number of senators joined Committee on Senate Armed Providers Chair Jack Reed of Rhode Island in a late-night Senate session Wednesday to talk out towards the months lengthy delay.
Biden mentioned final week that Tuberville’s blockade is “not solely incorrect — it’s harmful.”
Schumer’s workplace didn’t reply Thursday to a States Newsroom inquiry on whether or not Schumer has immediately reached out to Tuberville.
The Senate is scheduled to return to Washington after Labor Day.