Tuberville In the News: Alabama Today: Tommy Tuberville and colleagues introduce legislation to strengthen military readiness

U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville continued his drive to strengthen the armed forces and prevent COVID-19 vaccination requirements from impeding military readiness by adding his support to two pieces of legislation, the Preserving the Readiness of Our Armed Forces Act and the Stop Firing Our Servicemembers Act.

“America’s military recruitment is at an all-time low, putting us further behind adversaries like China,” said Sen. Tuberville. “We should not be jeopardizing our national security by putting more restrictions on members of our military who wish to serve. I am proud to support legislation to bolster military readiness and support our men and women in uniform.”

The Preserving the Readiness of Our Armed Forces Act would prohibit the involuntary dismissal of a service member for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine until each military service achieves its authorized end strength. The legislation would also require that members of the National Guard and reserves have access to pay and benefits while requests for religious or health accommodation are pending.

Sen. Tuberville was joined in introducing this legislation by U.S. Sens Marsha Blackburn(R-Tennessee), Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Mike Braun (R-Indiana), John Hoeven (R-North Dakota), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Mississippi), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Roger Marshall (R-Kansas), and Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina).

“Every year, we come into this chamber and fight as hard as we can to make our military the most lethal fighting force in the world,” Blackburn said. “We authorize billions of dollars for aircraft and equipment and advanced weaponry. The NDAA represents an incredible investment in the future of this country. But it also represents the trust the American people put in this Congress to keep them safe and to keep the enemy at bay. So it is beyond me that Joe Biden and the Democrats would undermine their own military by gutting the ranks—just to make a point.”

The Stop Firing Our Servicemembers Act would prohibit federal funds from being used to require a member of the National Guard to receive a COVID-19 vaccination and prohibit the Department of Defense from taking any adverse action against the member for refusing vaccination.

Tuberville was joined in introducing this legislation by Sens. Blackburn, Crapo, Braun, and Cotton, as well as James Risch (R-Idaho), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi), and Steve Daines (R-Montana).

“While servicemembers now have to wonder if they’ll be able to continue serving our country, America’s adversaries are looking to exploit this new vulnerability of fewer troops able to deploy and fight,” Blackburn said. 

Tuberville has staunchly opposed the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for service members and defense contractors, repeatedly warning that COVID-19 vaccine mandates pose a risk to military readiness. Tuberville spoke about the unconstitutional mandates on the floor of the U.S. Senate and in letters to top administration officials.

Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees. He is in his first term as a U.S. Senator. Tuberville defeated incumbent Sen. Doug Jones (D-Alabama) in the 2020 general election.