Tuberville In the News: U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville on his abortion stance: Setting the record straight

For nearly three months now, I’ve been engaged in a standoff with the Biden appointees at the Pentagon. Since the Biden administration began illegally using tax dollars to facilitate elective abortion, I’ve used my rightful authority as a United States senator to slow down their civilian nominations and promotions from being confirmed.

This has sent the Washington outrage machine into overdrive. I’ve been attacked from the podium at the White House, senators are tweeting about me, and the Senate Majority Leader has attacked me by name five or six times on the floor of the Senate.

I’ve only been in Washington, DC for a little over two years now, but this is exactly what I expected from the swamp and its creatures. What I’ve been more surprised by is hearing some of the falsehoods parroted by a couple of liberals in Alabama.

So let’s set the record straight about what I’m doing and why I’m doing it.

Back in November I heard the Pentagon was thinking about using our tax dollars to facilitate elective abortion. There’s nothing in the law that allows the Pentagon to do that. Congress never took a vote on it. In fact, Congress has voted to strictly limit the instances in which DOD can perform abortion.

I warned the Secretary of Defense directly in December that if he insisted on flouting the law, I would use my authority as a senator and slow down their highest-level nominations in the Senate. Secretary Austin blatantly ignored me (and more than a dozen other senators) and implemented his illegal plan to fund unrestricted access to abortions.

So I’ve kept my word. The day they announced the new policy in February, I put what’s called a “hold” on their highest-level nominations and promotions. They can still be confirmed—but the Senate has to actually vote.

That’s not too much to ask. Thus far this year the Senate has had more than 30 days off, plus weekends. The Senate hardly ever votes on anything of substance anymore. Yet the Democrats have lit their hair on fire over the idea that we should actually do our jobs and vote.

My dispute with the Pentagon is not just about abortion. It is more about the illegal use of taxpayer funds to facilitate elective abortion.

The military has had an abortion policy for four decades. In a typical year, about 20 abortions are performed within our military system in cases of rape, incest, and a threat to the health of the mother. Until a few months ago, this was a consensus view supported by both political parties. But now the Biden Administration is forcing an unprecedented taxpayer-funded abortion policy down the throats of the American people.

Democrats admit that I have the right to slow down nominations as a United States senator. I’m far from the first to do this. Democrats threatened to do the same exact thing not that long ago, and for far less important issues—including ensuring Colonel Vindman got promoted. Memories are short in Washington.

Democrats have made essentially two arguments against me on this issue. First, they say I’m jeopardizing national security. Second, they say I’m hurting families in need. Both of these arguments are false.

First, national security. During a recent Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Chairman Jack Reed (D-RI) asked a top combatant commander what impact my hold has on readiness. In response, the commander said “operationally” the holds have “no impact” because military leaders remain in their posts until they are replaced.

The idea that these jobs are remaining open is simply false. That’s not how our military works. Every one of these roles is being done right now. Anyone who says otherwise doesn’t understand how the military works.

As for the second argument, about supposed hardship, let’s be clear who we are talking about. This is not, to quote one liberal Alabama commentator “a blanket hold on all [Defense] nominees.” I am only holding brigadier generals and above. These officers earn approximately $244,000 a year in base wages and housing allowances. That’s nearly nine times the average income in Alabama, and clearly in the top 10 percent of incomes nationwide.

Elizabeth Warren said she was worried about their “grocery money.” They’ve got plenty of grocery money. And when they do get promoted, they’ll all get back pay—and they know it.

Democrat senators have also fearmongered that some of these people may retire rather than wait for their promotion to go through. On average they would retire with a pension equivalent to having $6 million in a 401k.

The real crisis is our military’s recruiting figures. In the 50 year history of our all-volunteer force, we’ve never missed our recruiting numbers: until last year. The Army missed its number by 15,000 recruits. That’s an entire division.

The facts are clear. My hold is not affecting readiness and they won’t make anybody starve. No matter the name calling and media pressure, I will keep my holds in place until the Biden administration follows the law.