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Republicans confront Tuberville over military holds in extraordinary showdown on Senate floor

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  hallux  •  7 months ago  •  26 comments

By:   MARY CLARE JALONICK AND LOLITA BALDOR - AP

Republicans confront Tuberville over military holds in extraordinary showdown on Senate floor

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican senators angrily challenged Sen. Tommy Tuberville on his blockade of almost 400 military officers Wednesday evening, taking over the Senate floor for more than four hours to call for individual confirmation votes after a monthslong   stalemate .

Tuberville, R-Ala., stood and objected to each nominee — 61 times total, when the night was over — extending   his holds on the military confirmations   and promotions with no immediate resolution in sight. But the extraordinary confrontation between Republicans, boiling over almost nine months after Tuberville first announced the holds over a Pentagon abortion policy, escalated the standoff as Defense Department officials have repeatedly said the backlog of officials needing confirmation could   endanger national security .

“Why are we putting holds on war heroes?” asked Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska, himself a colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. “I don’t understand.”

Wrapping up for the night at almost 11 p.m., Sullivan said the senators will keep returning to the floor to call up nominations. If the standoff continues and officers leave the military, he said, Tuberville’s blockade will be remembered as a “national security suicide mission.”

South Carolina Sen. Lindsay Graham told Tuberville, who mostly sat quiet and alone as they talked, that he should sue the military if he thinks the policy is illegal. “That’s how you handle these things,” Graham said.

After Tuberville objected to a vote on a two-star general nominated to be a deputy commander in the Air Force, Graham turned and faced him. “You just denied this lady a promotion,” Graham said angrily to Tuberville. “You did that.”

Tuberville said Wednesday there is “zero chance” he will drop the holds. Despite several high-level vacancies and the growing backlog of nominations, he has said he will continue to hold the nominees up unless the Pentagon ends — or puts to a vote in Congress — its new policy of paying for travel when a service member has to go out of state to get an abortion or other reproductive care. President Joe Biden’s administration instituted the policy after the Supreme Court overturned the nationwide right to an abortion, and some states have limited or banned the procedure.

“I cannot simply sit idly by while the Biden administration injects politics in our military from the White House and spends taxpayers’ dollars on abortion,” Tuberville said.

Showing obvious frustration and frequent flashes of anger, the Republican senators — Sullivan, Graham, Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, Indiana Sen. Todd Young and others — read lengthy biographies and praised individual nominees as they called for vote after vote. They said they agree with Tuberville on the policy, but questioned — as Democrats have for months — why he would hold up the highest ranks of the U.S. military.

Sullivan said Tuberville is “100 percent wrong” that his holds are not affecting military readiness. Ernst said the nominees are being used as “political pawns.” Utah Sen. Mitt Romney advised Tuberville to try to negotiate an end to the standoff. All of them warned that good people would leave military service if the blockade continues.

As the night wore on, Sullivan and Ernst — herself a former commander in the U.S. Army Reserve and Iowa Army National Guard — continued to bring up new nominations and appeared to become increasingly frustrated. They noted that they were bringing up the nominations “one by one” as Tuberville had once called for, and asked why he wouldn’t allow them to go forward. Tuberville did not answer.

“I do not respect men who do not honor their word,” Ernst said at one point.

Sullivan said “China is smiling” as the United States blocks its own military heroes. “As an American, it almost wants to make you weep.”

The GOP effort to move the nominations came after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Wednesday morning they are trying a new workaround to confirm the officers. Schumer said the Senate will consider a resolution in the near future that would allow the quick confirmation of the now nearly 400 officers up for promotion or nominated for another senior job.

The resolution by Senate Armed Services Chairman Jack Reed, D-R.I., and Independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona would tweak the rules until the end of this session of Congress next year to allow a process for the Senate to pass multiple military nominations together. It would not apply to other nominations.

To go into effect, the Senate Rules Committee will have to consider the temporary rules change and send it to the Senate floor, where the full Senate would have to vote to approve it. That process could take several weeks and would likely need Republican support to succeed.

“Patience is wearing thin with Senator Tuberville on both sides of the aisle,” Schumer said.

Schumer separately moved to hold confirmation votes as soon as Thursday on three top Pentagon officers affected by the holds — Adm. Lisa Franchetti to be the chief of naval operations, Gen. David Allvin to be chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force and Lt. Gen. Christopher Mahoney to serve as assistant commandant for the U.S. Marine Corps.

Sullivan had gathered enough signatures to force a vote on Franchetti and Allvin and spoke out in frustration about the issue at the weekly GOP lunch on Tuesday, according to a person familiar with Sullivan’s comments who requested anonymity to discuss the closed-door meeting.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has also criticized the holds, saying on Tuesday that they are “a bad idea” and he’d tried to convince the Alabama Republican to express his opposition some other way.

Tuberville said earlier on Wednesday he disagrees with the Democratic effort to try to get around his hold and and pass the nominations in large groups, arguing that the workaround would “burn the city down” and take away one of the only powers that the minority party has.

The new efforts to move the nominations come after the Marine Corps said that Gen. Eric Smith, the commandant, was hospitalized on Sunday after “suffering a medical condition” at his official residence in Washington. Smith, who is currently listed in stable condition and is recovering, was confirmed to the top job last month, but had been holding down two high-level posts for several months because of Tuberville’s holds.

Smith himself was blunt about the demands of serving as both assistant commandant and acting commandant for months in the wake of Gen. David Berger’s retirement after four years as the top Marine. In public remarks in early September, Smith described his grueling schedule as he juggled the strategic and oversight responsibilities of commandant and member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the personnel and management duties of the No. 2 job. “It is not sustainable,” Smith said. “What doesn’t stop is the clock. The adversary doesn’t take a pause.”

When Schumer announced the vote this week on Mahoney’s nomination to be assistant commandant, he said Smith’s sudden medical emergency is “precisely the kind of avoidable emergency that Sen. Tuberville has provoked through his reckless holds.”

Tuberville has challenged Schumer to put each individual nomination on the floor. But Democrats have been hoping to force Tuberville’s hand as the number of stalled nominations has grown. “There’s an old saying in the military, leave no one behind,” Senate Armed Services Chairman Jack Reed said in July.

That strategy has become more difficult as months have passed, and as Tuberville has dug in. In September, Schumer relented and allowed confirmation votes on three of the Pentagon’s top officials: Gen.   CQ Brown , the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,   Gen. Randy George , Army Chief of Staff, and   Smith   as commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps.


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Hallux
PhD Principal
1  seeder  Hallux    7 months ago

Tuberville's ass belongs in a House seat, not the Senate seat ... at least demote him.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
1.1  JohnRussell  replied to  Hallux @1    7 months ago
Tuberville belongs in the House

Shit or nut ? 

 
 
 
Eat The Press Do Not Read It
Professor Guide
1.1.1  Eat The Press Do Not Read It  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1    7 months ago

Old Elephant Ears brings to the Senate no political experience, but, he is a winning coach.  Isn't that just what Republicans need. Another Confederate Flag Waging Christian from Alabama.

Is it the water, the Moonshine that makes them so stupid.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
1.2  Ozzwald  replied to  Hallux @1    7 months ago
Tuberville's ass belongs in a House seat, not the Senate seat ... at least demote him.

I will never understand how 1 single Senator can bring this process to a standstill.  Can't they remove his ability to block everything?  It sounds like most of the Senators will support removing him, even other republicans.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
1.2.1  TᵢG  replied to  Ozzwald @1.2    7 months ago

To get around the block, they would have to vote for each nomination individually and there are hundreds of them.

It is amazing though that there is anything that a single Senator can hold up.   Where did this obscure hold rule come from?   Its origin was to allow a senator to be consulted before a vote is held but apparently there is no limits on the hold (like a time limit).

Also, what an arrogant prick Tuberville is.   Not only is he negatively affecting our military and denying promotions, but he is ignoring the views of 99 USA senators.    And he is doing it by effectively abusing an administrative loophole;  abusing the original intent.

And of course this asshole is aligned with Trump.

 
 
 
evilone
Professor Guide
1.2.2  evilone  replied to  TᵢG @1.2.1    7 months ago
To get around the block, they would have to vote for each nomination individually and there are hundreds of them.

The Senate rules will be temporarily changed next week to bypass Tuberville on this one issue, this one time.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
1.2.3  Ozzwald  replied to  evilone @1.2.2    7 months ago

The Senate rules will be temporarily changed next week to bypass Tuberville on this one issue, this one time.

Rules need to be permanently changed, to put a time limit on the hold, or at least allow a secondary vote to override the hold.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
1.2.4  Ozzwald  replied to  TᵢG @1.2.1    7 months ago
And of course this asshole is aligned with Trump.

As are most republican Congressmen who seem opposed to doing the job they were elected for.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Junior Expert
1.2.5  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Ozzwald @1.2.4    7 months ago

As are most republican Congressmen who seem opposed to doing the job they were elected for.

What makes you think that they weren't elected to oppose, defeat, stall, obfuscate?

 
 
 
evilone
Professor Guide
1.2.6  evilone  replied to  Ozzwald @1.2.3    7 months ago
Rules need to be permanently changed

Maybe. 

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
1.2.7  Ozzwald  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @1.2.5    7 months ago
What makes you think that they weren't elected to oppose, defeat, stall, obfuscate?

Because, not a single one of them ran on a platform of doing nothing. 

They may have run on a platform of their own choices, abortion bans, lowering inflation, cutting spending, even eliminating most of the government they are running for.  But not one of them campaigned on their intent to sit in Washington and do nothing while collecting their paycheck.  Especially when what they are doing is little by little crippling our defenses.

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Professor Guide
1.2.8  Thrawn 31  replied to  TᵢG @1.2.1    7 months ago

As I said, what a faggot. 

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
1.3  devangelical  replied to  Hallux @1    7 months ago

that 'bama goober is a great example of exactly why christo-fascists shouldn't hold public office...

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
1.4  Kavika   replied to  Hallux @1    7 months ago

If he is going to have a seat make it a seat in the outhouse.

 
 
 
charger 383
Professor Silent
2  charger 383    7 months ago

Maybe Coach Tuberville would understand a penalty flag for delay of game

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Professor Principal
2.1  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  charger 383 @2    7 months ago

jrSmiley_13_smiley_image.gif Good one!jrSmiley_28_smiley_image.gif jrSmiley_10_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Principal
3  Sean Treacy    7 months ago

All they have to do is vote.  They confirmed another person today. 

 
 
 
George
Junior Expert
3.1  George  replied to  Sean Treacy @3    7 months ago

What? you expect a lazy fuck like Schumer to actually do his job? it's not like the house has kept the senate busy, what the fuck has he been doing, Other than screwing the military over to score political points.

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
3.1.1  Krishna  replied to  George @3.1    7 months ago
What? you expect a lazy fuck like Schumer

So the delays are not caused in any way by Tuberville. As you just so brilliantly pointed out-- this is all Schumer's fault.

The delays have nothing to do with Tuberville-- its been Schumer all all long!

[deleted]

 
 
 
Hallux
PhD Principal
3.1.2  seeder  Hallux  replied to  Krishna @3.1.1    7 months ago

[removed]

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
4  Kavika     7 months ago

61 objections by Tuberville.

Tuberville is to blame no one else. 

The Trump defense, ''someone else is to blame'' couldn't get off the ground with a set of wings.

 
 
 
Gsquared
Professor Principal
5  Gsquared    7 months ago

It's about time.

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Professor Guide
6  Thrawn 31    7 months ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
6.1  Krishna  replied to  Thrawn 31 @6    7 months ago

[comment removed for context.]

Or at the very least an imbecilic ninconpoop!

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Professor Guide
6.1.1  Thrawn 31  replied to  Krishna @6.1    7 months ago

He really is though.

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
Professor Quiet
7  Ed-NavDoc    7 months ago

Tuberville is a pathetic redneck moron who could absolutely care less about those military personnel and their careers he is screwing with just so he can score perceived political points at somebody else's expense. Tuberville totally disgusts me!

 
 

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