Sen. Jack Reed confirmed up for a flooring speech Wednesday with a poster depicting eight framed images of the Joint Chiefs of Employees. Three of the frames have been empty, a consequence of the continued dispute between Sen. Tommy Tuberville and the Protection Division over its resolution to implement a taxpayer-funded abortion coverage.
“If the senator doesn’t come to his senses earlier than Gen. [Mark] Milley retires, totally half of the Joint Chiefs of Employees—our nation’s most significant navy leaders—might be empty,” Reed, D-R.I., declared.
Reed proceeded to speak for greater than quarter-hour, questioning the motives of Tuberville, R-Ala., and warning of a dire state of affairs if these high-ranking miliary officers weren’t accredited for promotion by the Senate.
But throughout his speech, Reed by no means as soon as talked about that it was the choice of Democratic leaders—not Tuberville—to stop the 300 officers from receiving a Senate vote on their promotions.
Tuberville has stated on quite a few events, together with this week, that Democrats might proceed with particular person votes for every nominee. As a substitute, he’s objecting to “unanimous consent,” the Senate technique of rubber-stamping a whole bloc of nominees with out a recorded vote.
Take the case of Air Power Gen. C.Q. Brown, who President Joe Biden has nominated to interchange Milley as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Employees. Reed cited Brown’s pending promotion Wednesday whereas pointing to the poster behind him.
“I’m involved the senator doesn’t recognize the gravity of this case,” Reed stated of Tuberville. “These positions can’t merely be crammed by different officers. They’ll solely be briefly lined by their vice chiefs, who should additionally proceed to cowl their very own jobs. … These are extraordinary difficult occasions, and the roles of our vice chiefs are simply as vital and difficult because the chief of employees or the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Employees.”
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He accused Tuberville of a plot to “extort the Pentagon” whereas doing so for “his personal political achieve.”
As chairman of the Senate Armed Companies Committee, Reed is liable for shepherding nominees similar to Brown by his committee, which accredited his promotion July 20.
Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., might have scheduled a vote for Brown earlier than the Senate left for its monthlong August recess or when senators returned this week. However as a substitute of doing so, Democrats reserved time for affirmation votes on Federal Reserve and Nationwide Labor Relations Board nominees.
“Chuck Schumer can deliver them to the ground one after the other as fast and as quick as he needs to, however he gained’t do it as a result of that’s an admittance of being incorrect,” Tuberville stated in an interview with Newsmax’s Greg Kelly.
The Washington Examiner’s Conn Carroll, a former Senate staffer, crunched the numbers and found Democrats might have accredited 108 military promotions in the event that they labored an eight-hour day, 5 days every week as a substitute of leaving city for a month.
“I’m sorry to the officers who’ve been inconvenienced by Tuberville’s holds, but when these nominations have been actually a problem of nationwide safety, possibly Senate Democrats might have skipped even simply someday of their August trip to verify even simply certainly one of them,” Carroll wrote.
Don’t anticipate Democrats to vary course. In truth, Reed acknowledged to Punchbowl News that Brown and different “very important navy leaders” would proceed to attend.
“Democrats are hesitant to place Brown’s nomination on the ground as a result of it could set a precedent for all the different promotions the Alabama Republican is obstructing,” Punchbowl reported.
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“What do you do with the remainder of them?” Reed instructed Punchbowl, revealing that Democrats are eager to proceed enjoying political video games in hopes that Tuberville will fold below stress.
Don’t depend on it.
“I do know I’m doing the correct factor,” Tuberville stated in an interview on “The Each day Sign Podcast.” “I’m not going to vary my thoughts except they alter this [abortion] coverage again the best way it was.”
Tuberville started blocking the promotions of flag officers and navy generals in March over objections to the Protection Division’s taxpayer-funded abortion coverage. He asserts the Pentagon’s coverage was unlawfully applied with out congressional approval and that he gained’t launch his “maintain” on the promotions till the coverage is revoked.
The Pentagon’s coverage supplies three weeks of taxpayer-funded paid depart and reimbursement of journey bills for navy personnel and dependents who’re looking for abortions. An estimate from the Rand Corp. predicts the variety of abortions within the navy eligible for taxpayer-covered bills would skyrocket from 20 to greater than 4,000 every year.
In his Newsmax interview, Tuberville stated he would proceed to resist stress from his Senate colleagues till the Pentagon reversed the abortion coverage.
“They don’t know what stress is. Attempt teaching within the SEC,” Tuberville stated of school soccer’s Southeastern Convention, the place he as soon as was a coach for Auburn College. “There’s no manner they’re going to speak me out of this. We’re going to have holds for a protracted, very long time, and so they can simply get used to it.”
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